The Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) has called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) a golden opportunity for Thai exporters, service providers and investors to explore regional markets and beyond.
RCEP is a free trade agreement encompassing the Asia-Pacific nations of China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia. The 15 member economies account for about 30% of the world’s population, making it the largest trade bloc in human history. The agreement came into force at the beginning of this year. From January to February, Thailand exported US$24 billion worth of products to member territories, accounting for 52.5% of total exports in the two months. Of that figure, $1.16 billion worth of goods were from exporters who utilized the RCEP privileges.
According to the DTN, China has been the major trading partner, with plants, vegetables and fruits being the most popular products.
DTN Deputy Director-General Chotima Iemsawasdikul said her agency has been educating the public about the agreement from its inception to its implementation. She added that the deal is being embraced by government units, the business sector, SMEs and academics.
The deputy director-general noted that RCEP also lowers tariff barriers for exporters while reducing costs and increasing production capacity and competitiveness. Additionally, she said RCEP represents a great pathway to economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. (NNT)