Title: New regional economic partnerships under negotiation

Authors: Nucharee Nuchkoom Smith

Addresses: School of Law, Parramatta Campus, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia

Abstract: Two potentially competing trading blocs are being negotiated between countries of the Asia Pacific to boost world trade in the absence of progress with the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. One is the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) in which all negotiating parties are also members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). This paper outlines the two proposals and discusses some of the expectations of the negotiating parties. It is clear that the TPP concept has led to a number of concerns being raised by the negotiating parties, invitee countries, and external parties including those with vested interests in the outcome of these negotiations. The RCEP concept which is essentially a large multi-lateral free trade agreement raises less concern. The paper then discusses the dilemma facing Thailand which for centuries has been a trading nation and was a founding member of the World Trade Organization. Subsequently Thailand has negotiated a number of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements. As a leading member of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Thailand has sought to engage in free trade agreements with its ASEAN neighbours and their external trading partners.

Keywords: Free Trade Agreements; bilateral FTAs; multilateral FTAs; Trans Pacific Partnership; TPP; Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership; RCEP; Association of South East Asian Nations; ASEAN; Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation; APEC; Thailand; regional economic partnerships.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2015.067776

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2015 Vol.5 No.1, pp.1 - 19

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 26 Feb 2015 *

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