Thailand called upon to reassess impact of CPTPP

Thailand called upon to reassess impact of CPTPP

Thailand needs to re-evaluate the impact of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), after China formally applied to join the trade bloc on Sept 16, according to the chief trade negotiator.

Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said many parties have been interested in and closely watching the CPTPP which is expected to become a larger market once China becomes a new member of the bloc.

"China's application to join CPTPP will increase alliances and expand the Chinese trade and investment opportunities with CPTPP members, especially in terms of participation in the supply chains of the CPTPP members. That will strengthen China as a source of raw materials and key production bases of the region," she said.

"The expansion of new CPTPP members to cover China and the UK will also increase the attractiveness of CPTPP. Thailand needs to reassess its benefits and the effects that will be emerging carefully."

The CPTPP was launched in 2019 to remove trade barriers among 11 nations representing nearly 500 million consumers in Asia-Pacific or about 6.7% of the world's population, with a combined GDP worth US$10.5 trillion, accounting for 13.3% of global GDP.

The pact replaced the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a similar trade deal that included the US until the Trump administration decided to withdraw.

According to Mrs Auramon, once the bloc includes China, the population of the CPTPP market will enlarge to more than 1.9 billion (25% of the world's population), with combined GDP worth up to $25.3 trillion (30% of global GDP).

However, she noted the size of the CPTPP remains smaller than the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which covers 15 country members, while the latter is currently regarded as the largest FTA in the world with a population of over 2.3 billion (30% of the world's population) and a GDP valued $28.5 trillion (33.6% of global GDP).

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