Thailand wants to join 'new' TPP: Somkid

Thailand wants to join 'new' TPP: Somkid

Representatives of members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal pose for an official picture after the signing agreement ceremony in Santiago, Chile, on March 8, 2018. (Reuters photo)
Representatives of members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal pose for an official picture after the signing agreement ceremony in Santiago, Chile, on March 8, 2018. (Reuters photo)

Thailand aims to seek membership in a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement this year, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said on Thursday.

The government has asked the Commerce Ministry to look into the details on how to join the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

"This is an important issue," Mr Somkid told reporters. "If there is no problem, we will join it this year."

Thailand will also seek support from Japan on the matter, Somkid said. He did not elaborate.

Membership could be a boon for Thailand as competition heats up in electronics, seafood and agriculture from rival export and manufacturing economies, such as Malaysia and Vietnam.

Eleven countries including Japan and Canada singed the CPTPP deal earlier this month without the United States.

The original 12-member agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was thrown into limbo early last year when President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal. He said the move was aimed at protecting US jobs.


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