New Delhi wants to see what the proposed RCEP will look like – a pact between ASEAN (including Thailand), India, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand – before entering into a free trade agreement with Thailand, as the RCEP would be less ambitious of those two, a Trade Department official said. Indeed, one of the first decisions taken by U.S. President Donald Trump after taking office was the country`s secession from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious free trade pact concluded by the Obama regime with 11 peripheral Pacific countries, including four from ASEAN Block 10. Important Framework Agreement for the creation of a free trade area between Thailand and India The framework agreement includes the liberalisation of trade in goods, trade in services and investment, and the extension of economic cooperation. – Trade in goods: the framework agreement provided that Thailand and India would begin negotiations on trade in goods in January 2004 in order to establish the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement for Trade in Goods by 2010. In order to accelerate tariff reductions, the two countries first agreed on the implementation of a rapid training programme (ETS). The reduction or elimination of other products that are not covered by the ETS is divided into two tracks: the normal track and the sensitive track. – Trade in services and investment: the framework agreement also agreed to open negotiations on trade in services and investment in January 2004. Both sides agreed to launch a gradual liberalization of trade in services and to establish open and competitive investment systems that facilitate and encourage investment within and between the two countries. – Economic cooperation: Thailand and India agreed to promote and strengthen economic cooperation in areas that would benefit both countries, such as information and communication technologies, tourism, banking and finance, health, construction, etc. The framework agreement also provides for a tariff reduction of 82 products under the ETS, which includes products of interest to both countries, such as fruit (apple, durian, mango), processed products, precious stones and jewellery, steel products, automotive parts, electronics and electrical appliances, etc.
The prices of the 82 ETS products have been reduced to 0% since September 1, 2006. The current status trade with Thailand and India has entered into an agreement on trade in goods, which provides for a reduction in tariffs and/or elimination under the normal and sensitive track. In addition, some of the products on the exclusion list, which do not receive a tariff reduction for a period of three years, are subsequently reviewed.