BANGKOK (NNT) – Members of Parliament have resolved to approve the Ministry of Commerce’s proposal for the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), allowing the treaty to take effect as early as mid-year this year.
Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Auramon Supthaweethum shared that on February 9, 2021, the Ministry passed through the country’s parliamentary ratification process, allowing Thailand to deposit the instrument of ratification.
The treaty will take effect 60 days after at least six ASEAN member states and three non-ASEAN signatories have deposited their instruments of ratification.
On November 15, 2020, ASEAN member nations and its dialogue partners, namely Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand, came together for a virtual meeting on the occasion of the 4th RCEP Summit. The session concluded with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement that has been deliberated and fine-tuned for the past eight years, or since 2013. After the Summit, all countries went on to undertake their internal procedures to pave the way for the change.
With the signing of the RCEP, the agreement once put into effect, will become the world’s largest free trade agreement, covering a market of 2.2 billion people or 30.2% of the world’s population, with a combined GDP of US$262 billion (more than 8.17 trillion baht).
Thailand will be able to export the majority of its products (90-92% of tariff lines) to the other 14 member countries without tariff constraints as the member countries will gradually reduce tariff rates to 0%.
These products include those currently subject to tariff rates as high as 40%. In this respect, the tariff rate of 64.1 – 100% of the total tariff lines of the member countries (excluding LDCs) will immediately be eliminated upon the coming into force of the RCEP agreement .
All individuals and businesses working in the import-export sector, especially those in agricultural produce, food, manufacturing goods, electrical appliances, and even the biochemicals sectors will significantly benefit from the pact and are therefore urged to thoroughly study the treaty to reap the benefits.
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Reporter : Panod Srisinsuphya
Rewriter : Tarin Angskul
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