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FTAs became a big social and political issue in Thailand ever since former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra agreed, in 2003, to negotiate a comprehensive bilateral deal with the United States. A broad multisectoral coalition in Thailand, called FTA Watch, monitors and mobilises around Thailand’s FTA policies quite frequently, given the deep-cutting and far-reaching nature of these deals for Thai society.

Apart from the Thai-US talks, Thailand has signed a limited FTA with Laos (1991) and another with China (agriculture only, 2003), framework agreements with Bahrain (as stepping stone toward an FTA with the GCC, 2002), Peru (2003) and India (2003), and fairly comprehensive FTAs with Australia (2003), New Zealand (2005) and Japan (2007).

Since 2006 and the current political crisis, Thailand’s pace of FTA negotiations has slowed down. (The government is technically still in negotiation with the US, EFTA, India, Peru and Papua New Guinea, while there has been talk of further deals with Chile, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa and Canada.) Meanwhile, civil society groups have insisted that the new Thai constitution include a provision, in Section 190, that requires Parliamentary ratification and much more public information about all FTAs that the Thai cabinet considers going into.

Regionally, Thailand is member of ASEAN and therefore part of that bloc’s FTA dealings with China, Korea, India, Australia/New Zealand and the EU. It is also part of BIMSTEC and, under Thaksin at least, was the protagonist pushing for greater trade and investment integration in the Mekong region under ACMECS, a framework for cooperation between Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

last update: May 2012
Photo: FTA Watch

OAE: Thailand still has upper hand in FTAs on farm products
The Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) has disclosed that Thailand this year still has an edge over its dialogue partners in the free trade agreements (FTAs) on agricultural products.
FTA with European Union should get the green light
A free-trade agreement between Thailand and the European Union seems to be on the cards, offering the prospect of an end to tariff barriers for exports to the EU market. But the devil is in the details. Both sides should weigh the potential benefits to ensure that the proposed agreement is acceptable to all stakeholders.
Negotiations resumed with Thailand to reach a FTA
The Fourth Round of Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Chile and Thailand seeks to promote a productive exchange between the economies of both countries, starting with tariff reductions and the reduction of technical barriers to trade.
Thailand seeks conclusion on Thai-Indian FTA this year
Thailand sets to complete the negotiations on the Thai-Indian free trade agreement (FTA) within this year, in its bid to boost bilateral trade to US$16 billion in 2015.
Thailand: Five-year trade plan focus
With global trade forecast to slow this year, the Trade Negotiations Department will prioritise Asean and six key Asian markets in its trade and investment plan for the next five years.
FTA talks finally approach finish line
After eight agonising years of negotiations, Thailand and India hope to conclude talks on a wide-ranging free trade agreement (FTA) by March, according to Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul.
Thai-Peruvian FTA takes effect
The Early Harvest programme under the free trade agreement between Thailand and Peru took effect on Dec 31, 2011, covering 70 per cent of goods traded between the two countries.
Thailand: Free-trade talks with Pakistan planned
Thailand will soon launch free-trade negotiations with Pakistan, pursuing its second bilateral pact with a South Asian nation following an existing agreement with India.
TDRI pushes for fewer FTA restrictions and more pacts
Business leaders and academics recommend the new government ease rules and extend the coverage of current free-trade agreements as well as step up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
Deals with Peru, Chile progressing
The delayed free-trade area agreement between Thailand and Peru is likely to take effect in November, while an FTA with Chile should be concluded by mid-2012, says the Commerce Ministry.


  • FTA Watch (Thailand)
    A broad social coalition monitoring, analysing and mobilising around the Thai government’s FTA strategies.
  • Thai FTA
    A Thai government website, produced by the Department of Trade Negotiations, on Thailand’s different FTA negotiations.