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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

Department seeks to speed up free trade negotiations
Thailand’s Department of Trade Negotiations is actively pursuing free trade agreements (FTAs). Trade negotiations with the Efta and the EU are continuing, while upgrades to existing FTAs in the Asean framework include China, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand to facilitate trade and investment for Thai businesses.
Thailand looks to sign trade agreement with Bangladesh
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said on Sunday that Thailand and Bangladesh are now looking forward to expanding trade and investments after agreeing to initiate talks toward signing their first free trade agreement (FTA).
Fish farmers up in arms at proposed FTA with EFTA members
Representatives of six fish farmer associations on Monday submitted a letter to Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin, urging the government to halt the negotiation of a free trade agreement (FTA) for imported fish that Thailand is planning with EFTA.
Update: Progress on 6 Thai FTAs now under negotiation
Thailand is negotiating 11 free trade agreements, including five related to upgrading existing FTAs along with developing six new FTAs as the kingdom aims to expand trade and investment with key trading partner countries near and distant.
Thailand is nearing completion of a trade deal with non-EU countries
Thailand is close to finalizing a free-trade agreement with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein under the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) by the end of the year.
Thailand and EFTA expect to wrap up free trade agreement by year-end
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Wednesday met with the president of Switzerland, Viola Amherd, to discuss a free trade agreement between Thailand and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Both parties are determined to have the deal finalised by the end of the year.
Thailand forges ahead with free trade pacts to ignite economic growth
Thailand is actively negotiating 11 free trade agreements (FTAs) in a bid to expand trade, attract investment and bolster the country’s revenue streams. Thai government also plans to hold hearings among stakeholders to ensure advantages extend to the Thai population.
Thai PM to visit Sri Lanka to sign FTA
Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) in February 2024 after the successful conclusion of the latest round of negotiations between the two countries.
Ministry eyeing FTA with Bangladesh
Thailand is keen to improve trade and investment relations with Bangladesh, with the aim of establishing a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries as soon as possible.
Sri Lanka, Thailand to sign trade agreement in February
Sri Lanka plans to conclude free trade agreement (FTA) talks with Thailand in December and sign a deal on Feb. 3, Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesperson said.


  • 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.