thailand to join asean canada fta talks - Thailand to join ASEAN-Canada FTA talks

The Thai cabinet today approved Thailand’s bid to join ASEAN-Canada FTA talks, in the hope of opening a trade gateway to North America.

The cabinet agreed to let Thailand participate in the talks for the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Area (FTA) on the suggestion of the Ministry of Commerce, said deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek.

An FTA agreement with Canada is expected to increase Thailand’s GDP by 7.9-254 billion Baht and connect Thailand’s supply chain to North America, which will be the first such link for Thailand, said Rachada.

Thailand’s goods which could see increased exports to Canada are food, condiments, agricultural produce, rubber products, such as car tyres and rubber gloves, machinery, such as air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines. Meanwhile, Canada’s products which would see increased imports into Thailand include meat, such as pork, frozen fish, cereal, particularly wheat, and processed wood.

Thailand, in its capacity as an ASEAN member, is currently implementing 13 FTA agreements with 18 countries and territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Peru and Chile.

Thailand has recently submitted the ratification for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact, which is proposed FTA between the ten member states of the ASEAN and five of its largest trading partners – China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand