The main takeaway is the return of China to the international scene and it is in a big way too with the recent APEC and G20 meetings.
China may be preparing for the subsequent reopening of its borders and its full return, which we expect sooner than later, to the global supply chain.
If that were to happen sooner it will probably be a relief to the current pressure that demand is putting on supply chains in the absence of Chinese goods for example that many countries need to keep their growth projections kicking.
On the other hand, the Bali meeting was a bit of a mess with too much politicking and a lot of focus on Russia and its invasion of Ukraine which has become the horse battle for the Western nations against Mr Vladimir Putin.
Nevertheless, Mr Xi Jinping made big impressions in Indonesia and this is what we expect with the return of China back into the global scene.
The question to ask is whether there are one too many free trade agreements around in which Asean is getting involved when there is already the RCEP and the CPTPP.
Nevertheless, Thailand wants the FTAAP to be a success and it is pinning its hope that it will make the APEC the world’s largest free trade area.
That will compete with the RCEP and the CPTPP in some ways. But then, if we are told that Russia is part of the APEC and the region or countries in the region here in Asean can benefit from that, we do have a problem since the West is bashing Moscow for its Ukraine mess.
This will have repercussions in the APEC which is the negative impact of the Russian war in Ukraine which is not ending soon.
So the APEC is to be the largest free trade area that will provide the key mechanism in eradicating international trade obstacles and promoting supply chain connectivity among member countries.
FTAAP is believed to help promote Thailand’s economic growth in various dimensions and enhance the country’s long-term competitiveness. The government strongly hopes that FTAAP will be an opportunity for the private sector to expand its business and explore new business opportunities.
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