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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

India-Thailand FTA deal may be delayed
There will be no signing or conclusion of the FTA by January end, and if it happens it could only happen by mid or late 2013.
Thailand, Pakistan to move forward in signing PTA, FTA
Thailand and Pakistan move forward to sign accords for Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) leading to Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
TPP vs. RCEP: A new Washington-Beijing tug-of-war?
How the Thai government navigates the contest between the United States and China in the economic sphere will be a litmus test of Thailand’s diplomatic and political skills.
S. Korea, Thailand discuss free trade deal
South Korea and Thailand have entered discussions on a possible free trade agreement to "strengthen economic links between the two countries," officials said.
FTA Fund to aid development of fish products
Free Trade Agreement Fund officials are pursuing a plan to develop Thai fish products in local communities, as concern grows that the domestic market is facing an influx of cheaper fisheries produce from neighbouring countries under the Asean seamless market. The plan will focus on developing the procurement and processing of gourami, a freshwater fish currently farmed mainly in Chachoengsao province.
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 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.