Prayut sees regional free-trade pact approved this year
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday expressed confidence that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will get the green light this year as planned.
In his keynote speech at the Asean-India Expo and Forum, the premier said he believed that the 10- member Association of Southeast Asian Nations along with India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand would reach agreement on the free-trade proposal.
“There are complex issues that might be hard to tackle, but if we can reduce the number of issues, it may be much easier to resolve them, resulting in win-win situation for everyone,” he said.
Prayut cited opportunities in trade, investment and transportation that would benefit Asean and India, such as linked roads and seaports in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. He also urged adoption of an “open skies” policy.
Asean is now India’s fourth-largest trading partner, with annual trade valued at US$65 billion (Bt2.16 trillion) in the last two years.
The Asean-India Expo and Forum continues at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok, marking the 25th anniversary of relations between the two.