“At this point, we are ready to join the TPP”

As reported in the Bangkok Post, the Thai government has voiced what is likely its strongest support in favor of joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak stated before a gathering of business leaders in Japan that Thailand is ready to join as soon as it is open for new membership.  In the meantime, a committee chaired by Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn has been set up to prepare for Thailand’s membership and has already solicited views from various civil groups that may be affected.   Concerns include issues involving intellectual property, medicine patents, protection of medical test information, protection of new plant species and allowing investors to sue the state.

Thailand has previously been lukewarm about joining the TPP and has recently considered joining an alternative trade group known as the Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific, so watch this space for any further developments on Thailand’s possible TPP membership.