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Thailand signs mini-FTA with Gyeonggi, South Korea


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by Tanakorn Sangiam
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce has continued its efforts to improve Thailand’s export sector performance through the establishment of mini-FTAs with foreign markets, with Gyeonggi, South Korea now the latest partner of this trade promotion scheme.


Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) and South Korea’s Gyeonggi Business and Science Accelerator (GBSA) have signed a mini-free trade agreement (FTA), aimed at promoting trade and the development of smaller businesses between both sides.


This agreement is Thailand’s 6th partnership it formed with cities in 4 countries, and the second South Korean city after Busan.


The agreement also seeks to promote Thailand’s soft power in creativity, arts, and culture.


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit said South Korea is currently the 9th biggest export market for Thailand, with the trade value between both countries logging at 15.8 billion U.S. dollars last year.


He said Gyeonggi is a major South Korean market with the highest GDP level and a sizable 13 million population. Trade value between Thailand and Gyeonggi last year was recorded at 3.2 billion U.S. dollars, while the trade value for the first 7 months of this year already reached 2 billion dollars.


Thailand’s mini-FTA partners outside of South Korea include Hainan and Gansu, China; Telangana, India; and Kofu, Japan.



Source: https://thainews.prd.go.th/en/news/detail/TCATG220929103116187


-- © Copyright NNT 2022-09-29

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The agreement also seeks to promote Thailand’s soft power in creativity, arts, and culture.


Ah yes, the pork balls girl.

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Typically FTA's are made between countries wherein enforcement has the force of the respective country's sovereignty.

So it would be interesting to read the subject mini FTA with a foreign city as the city might not have any national authority for international enforcement and hence, no international authority for retaliation in case of alleged breach of contract. 

Given the seemingly propensity of Thailand's current government since 2014 to breach international FTA's and refusal to recognize at least in one case the World Trade Organization decision on an FTA dispute that Thailand lost with The Philippines, a "mini-FTA" between Thailand and a foreign city without sovereign protection of the foreign national government is risky for the foreign city.

So superficially the so-called mini FTA seems more like some political manouver than an economic purpose.

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