Fascinating article today from Pritish Kumar Sahu, a Senior Lecuturer at Multimedia University in Malaysia and as reported in the Bangkok Post.
It adds some further interesting perspectives on the "value" for Thailand in signing the TPP. Of course at the same time Thailand has this dilemma, competitors in the region like Indonesia and Vietnam will, presumably, get a "leg up" in their FTA's.
Interestingly too, as we have been reporting for a while, the focus on the RCEP and TPP (which have very serious backers) is eclipsing the AEC every day.
Although TPP countries constitute 36% of global GDP, Thailand already enjoys free trade agreements (FTAs) with nine countries of the current 12 TPP signatories (the US, Canada and Mexico are the exceptions). These nine countries together account for more than 70% (about $65 billion in 2014) of Thailand's total exports with the present TPP countries. In addition, all the TPP countries are already members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), so TPP countries that Thailand does not have an FTA with already cannot raise their average bound tariff on Thailand's exports above 3.5% and 6.7%, respectively, even if Thailand stays out of the TPP.