On 15 November 2020, Thailand signed up to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement in conjunction with 14 other countries, including ASEAN member states, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. This agreement will act as a framework for greater economic cooperation – a goal that has been officially in the works since November 2012. The RCEP agreement covers economic liberalization, trade in services and investment, and other areas of cooperation with the aim to link the economies of member countries.
Thailand’s total trade flows between RCEP members accounted for 56.9% of Thailand’s imports and exports in 2019. It is expected that the agreement will enable significant growth in Thailand’s trade flow with RCEP members, especially in industries where Thailand has a strong trading presence such as automotive and parts production, plastics and petrochemicals, and electronics.