Thailand to Enter TPP?

A recent article in, The Bangkok Post, Discusses Japanese Businesses efforts to persuade the Thai government to join the Trans Pacific Partnership. Their goal is to boost trade between Japan and Thailand under the new deal. Meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the JCCI’s Akio Mimura and other top Japanese executives discussed the possibilities of Japan and Thailand cooperating in technology innovations and production. How may Japan benefit from Thailand’s inclusion in the TPP? How may Thailand benefit from the TPP? Will Thailand eventually become a member of the TPP?

Japanese Thai Relations

In an article in The Nation, Thailand is appealing to Japan for support in its bid for membership in the new TPP. Both countries are in talks to increase imports for their countries respective goods. Thailand hopes to enter the TPP in the future and with the support of Japan, a major player in the super economy, it could gain the credibility it needs. How can Japan help Thailand? Would support of Thai TPP membership potentially hurt Japan? How could it benefit Japan?

Thailand could benefit from TPP

New Zealand has suggested that Thailand should consider joining TPP during the public scrutiny process by member states, saying that the partnership will be world’s largest trade agreement. NZ’s ambassador to Thailand said that since Thailand was a strong trading nation and heavily reliant on exports, which accounts for 70% of its GDP, joining TPP would increase trade opportunity and ensure the country’s future growth.

Thailand is moving forward to membership of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which has 16 countries – 10 Asean members, but RCEP can’t compensate for non partnership in TPP, whose market size and larger GDP is much larger.

Thailand should consider joining every trade agreement possible as it is important to benefit from the different angles offered by each pact, and it would help open up opportunity for the Kingdom to increase market access to all. Following the TPP’s implementation, the combined trade of its member economies will double.

For instance, New Zealand has strengths in service businesses such as education and IT, and cooperation under the TPP should help promote those sectors’ growth into other markets while other service businesses will need more investment from other countries to help develop their growth. Meanwhile in regard to bilateral trade between Thailand and New Zealand, Levermore said that almost 10 years from the implementation of their free-trade agreement, he expected there would be a revision of the FTA to promote more trade and investment growth on both sides as well as leveraging closer cooperation in many sectors.

New Zealand’s special agricultural trade envoy, Mike Petersen, said that under the bilateral FTA he expected that Thailand and New Zealand would tighten their cooperation in many sectors, particularly in agriculture as New Zealand has high expertise in the industry. Since New Zealand has high expertise in five key agricultural sectors – dairy products, beef, sheep, farming and wine – the country foresees closer cooperation with Thailand as well as more trade and investment for both sides.

New Zealand could also help transfer technology and know-how in quality agricultural production and improve capacity for Thai farmers which would in turn increase consumer satisfaction according to Petersen. Bilateral trade amounted to about Bhat 60 billion last year.

Full report:

Thailand’s Bid for the TPP – Time for Trade, or Trade for Time?

According to the article (, the Thai government, under Yingluck Shinawatra, announced an interest in joining the TPP in 2012, however the interest was lost under their current military dictatorship. However, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Somkid Jatusripitak, has recently indicated that they are now interested in joining the TPP.

Although Thailand claims that by joining the TPP their membership would help put the Kingdom back on the trade bloc’s radar, this could be a ploy to wind its way into the good graces of its neighbors as well as the United States.

Two key events have contributed toward Thailand’s newfound embrace of the TPP: the July release of the US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report and the deadly Erawan shrine bombings. Both of these events not only forced Thailand’s human rights situation into the open, but made it front page news as well. Therefore, the timing of Thailand’s sudden interest in joining the TPP is convenient and somewhat suspicious. Serious questions are now being raised regarding whether Thailand’s alleged commitment to democratic reforms is legitimate, or if it is merely a way to get back into the world’s good graces.

Thailand to join the TPP?

The article published in the Diplomat ( ) on 16th September 2015 talks about the idea of Thailand joining the TPP. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak wants to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of TPP.

The U.S officials have believed that Thailand will eventually sign the TPP and that this news is nothing new.

Thailand have expressed its unequivocal intention under former Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra back in 2012. Although Thailand could eventually join the TPP, it should focus on the ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Thailand needs to carefully wok their way towards TPP analyzing all the pros and cons. Thailand would still benefit immensely in an overall sense in spite of these sector-specific challenges. Studies predict that Thailand would have the second-largest percentage gains among potential members with a TPP agreement, with incomes rising by 7.6 percent – second only to Vietnam.

Will Thailand go ahead with the TPP or is it just another dead end agreement between the TPP and the government? Will the civilians benefit from TPP?