Thailand’s cabinet yet to consider CPTPP membership decision hinh anh 1A shop in Thailand. Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s cabinet did not consider on April 28 whether the country would seek membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) due to widespread opposition.

Due to conflict between different groups, the commerce ministry has withdrawn its proposal, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit told reporters.

On April 27, the Commerce Ministry of Thailand said it was presenting the cabinet its study that shows membership will boost Thailand’s economic growth, investment and exports, to help offset the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Thai opposition parties, civil society groups and prominent social figures have opposed CPTPP membership, arguing the move will have an adverse impact on the agricultural and healthcare sectors.

The government of Thailand previously planned to make the CPTPP membership decision in April or May.

The ministry’s Trade Negotiations Department has been assigned to prepare the related proposal after a study on the pros and cons of the CPTPP impact was completed.

According to Auramon, the study has taken into account all related issues, particularly access to medicines and compulsory licensing under the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights among member nations of the World Trade Organisation.

Meanwhile, Thai farmers and civil society organisations expressed concerns about the impact of the new pact's intellectual property provisions which prevent them from saving and reusing seeds that contain patented plant materials. Critics have also been concerned about some CPTPP provisions' impact on access to affordable medicines as access to medicines is related to the protection of intellectual property rights and patents.

A study by Bolliger & Company Thailand, which was hired by the department, found participation in the CPTPP would boost Thailand's GDP by 0.12 percentage points in revenue a year.

The CPTPP is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam./.