Thailand ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on October 28, commerce minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on November 1, adding that the pact should come into force by January.
The pact will remove export tariff on 39,366 items and expand the market for many Thai products such as fresh and processed fruit, fishery products, rubber etc.
Jurin said Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, along with non-ASEAN countries China and Japan have ratified the pact.
If one more non-ASEAN country sanctions the pact, all conditions will have been met, he said.
Terms stipulate that RCEP must be ratified by at least six of 10 ASEAN members and three out of five non-ASEAN signatories.
RCEP is a free-trade agreement among 15 Asia-Pacific countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
With 15 members, RCEP is seen as the largest FTA ever, covering 2.3 billion people or 30 per cent of the global population. The member states account for 33.6 per cent or a third of the world gross domestic product (GDP) and a third of global trade.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK