The Nation



Thailand enjoys farm trade surplus with nations eyeing RCEP: agency

Thailand recorded an average trade surplus of Bt338 billion annually during the past three years for agricultural products with the countries planning to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), according to the Kingdom's Office of Agricultural Economics.

The OAE also revealed that the international trade value among potential RCEP members over the past three years was Bt653 billion, with an average increase of 7 per cent annually.

The RCEP will comprise the 10 countries of Asean plus India, China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

For the first four months of this year, Thailand had total trade with the 15 nations amounting to Bt238 billion, up 7 per cent from the same period last year, resulting in a trade surplus of Bt110 billion.

Doing business with the RCEP is meant to be a way of reducing export dependence on the United States and Europe.

"The fifth round of RCEP talks in Singapore in June [further] developed the existing concept of integrating Asean+3 and Asean+6 to support a powerful economic conglomeration allowing Asean in remain as a regional economic driver," said OAE secretary-general Anan Lila.

At the next round of negotiations in August, the aims and proposed patterns of trade liberalisation will be discussed.

The top Thai agricultural exports to the region were sugar, processed foods, cassava, shrimp and rice, while the imports were fish, milk, grain and fruit products.

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