April 26, 2018 – Thailand is preparing to join the new 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade deal after it takes effect. The existing 11 member countries are seeking to have it take effect this year.

Thailand would be the first additional country to join the CPTPP, a move that could boost the deal’s prospects for further expansion.

Thailand’s exports to the 11 countries stood at $70.3 billion in 2017, about 30 percent of its total export value. In joining the CPTPP, Thailand would aim to increase its exports to those countries.

Additionally, Thailand had extra impetus to avoid being left out of the deal due to the prospects of foreign investments from nations being poured into member countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia.