What has recently been discussed in Thailand in many sectors and companies is the second largest free trade bloc in the world. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is expected to account for about 40% of Thailand`s trade value. Ten percent of this value will come directly from the three U.S. economies: the United States, Canada and Mexico. None of these countries are currently partners in the free trade agreement with the Thai Free Trade Agreement, making the adoption of the TPP more attractive. (iii) However, as has been noted worldwide, Thailand`s private sector is concerned that Thailand may lose its competitiveness in terms of import, export and investment attractiveness to other current members of the TPP, which could adversely affect the country`s growth; already noted in recent years in the slow movement. [i] Trade statistics, Ministry of Trade Negotiations: www.dtn.go.th/images/89/Trade/traderank1258.pdf  Some trade and investment agreements include this mechanism, under which not all liberalisation measures decided by a Member State can be replaced by new, more restrictive measures. Free trade agreements not only reduce import duties and eliminate tariffs on trade in goods, they are also an important catalyst for long-term investment and growth in participating countries. Most free trade agreements also have clauses that can help companies gain better market access and impose restrictions on the protection of their investments and intellectual property, while expanding business opportunities in terms of price competitiveness, market development and business, investment expansion and public procurement. The Kingdom of Thailand is classified as a middle-income country in Southeast Asia. The country ranked 57th out of 132 countries in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Enabling Trade Index (2012), which measures institutions, policies and services to facilitate trade in countries.
Despite the financial crisis, natural disasters and political turmoil, the country has maintained a robust and open economy, particularly as a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The effectiveness of import and export procedures and the country`s attractiveness to foreign investors are a competitive advantage, as the country continues to impose high import duties and limited market entry. The country`s national strategy aims to strengthen competitiveness in international markets by increasing productivity and preparing for regional economic integration (WEF 2012). Learn how Thomson Reuters solutions can simplify your overall business management process. In terms of technical barriers to trade, Thailand is an active participant in standard international and regional organizations such as the International Standards Organization, the Pacific Area Standards Congress and the ASEAN Advisory Committee on Standards and Quality. While Thailand has concluded several multi-lateral mutual recognition agreements, the ASEAN Convention on Trade in Goods, concluded by ASEAN countries, requires members to apply technical rules to facilitate the implementation of all ASEAN sectoral recognition agreements (World Bank 2011).
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