The Impacts of ACFTA on Export of Thai Agricultural Products to China
The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was the first FTA with external parties to be signed by ASEAN. This agreement included three components, namely, goods, services, and investment. Before the Trade in Goods Agreement was put into force in 2005, Thailand and China signed an agreement on Accelerated Tariff Elimination under the Early Harvest Programme (EHP), which focused on agricultural products and was implemented in October 2003. Since then, the bilateral trade between Thailand and China is steadily increasing. The agricultural products are the main export product between China and Thailand. For understanding the impacts of ACFTA on Export of Thai Agricultural Products to China, this article will describe the utilization of ACFTA preferences for export and how many tariff reductions under ACFTA. The scope of the agricultural products in this article covers 2091 tariff lines of both unprocessed and processed agricultural products. The content of this article consists of 3 parts: 1) The Benefits of ACFTA for Thailand; 2) The Opportunity of ACFTA for Thailand, and 3) Other trade barriers for Thailand. The benefits of the ACFTA are analyzed by comparing the tariff rate of China for ASEAN members in 2018 with the MFN tariff rate of China for WTO members. The opportunity for further improvement is presented in terms of the utilization of the FTA arrangement by Thai exporters and the top 10 categories (by HS 2 digits) of agricultural products exported from Thailand to China as well as an assessment of FTA impacts on major products in each category.
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