Vietnam Plus - 13 August 2020
Thai commerce ministry to push for RCEP signing
The Thai Ministry of Commerce will push the country’s Cabinet in October to consider signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
Thai media quoted Director General of the ministry’s Department of Trade Negotiations Auramon Supthaweethum as saying that the vetting of all 20 chapters of the accord has been completed and that it can be signed during the ASEAN Summit in Vietnam in November.
After the signing, Thailand will have to undertake a parliamentary process to ratify the deal, which is expected to come into force by mid-2021.
The official noted that her department is educating Thai farmers and business owners on how they can benefit from the agreement.
The Commerce Ministry is also studying plans to set up a fund to compensate parties affected by Thailand’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with foreign countries or free-trade blocs.
The RCEP covers 16 countries – the 10 members of ASEAN plus the six countries that the grouping has FTAs with, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand.
However, India has shown that it has yet to be ready to sign the RCEP deal.
Last year, Thailand exported agricultural products worth 25.2 billion USD to the 16 RCEP countries, or 62.2 percent of its total overseas shipments of agricultural products.
In the first five months of 2020, exports in this category to RCEP nations were worth 10.8 billion USD, increasing 2.4 percent year on year