Thailand and the United Kingdom are planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a Joint Trade Committee on Commerce and Economic Cooperation. According to Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, “the MoU will enhance the relationship between Thailand and the UK, and expand trade and investment after Brexit.”
Thailand’s free-market economy benefits from a well-developed infrastructure. Exports of electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, processed foods, and other goods account for about two-thirds of Thai GDP. According to the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, Thailand is currently ranked 3rd in ASEAN, 9th among the Asia–Pacific region, and 42nd in the World on the 2021 Economic Freedom index.
The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom is an annual guide which measures the progress made in advancing economic freedom worldwide. The index ranks 12 indicators from property rights to financial freedom under four categories: rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open markets. According to the Foundation, the Thai government has made remarkable progress in expanding economic freedom, with laws protecting property rights and contractual rights being generally well enforced. The South East Asian nation currently has 13 preferential trade agreements in force. The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 5%, and 240 nontariff measures are in effect.
(Sources: Heritage Foundation; Bangkok Post; Thailand Business News)