Thailand to Pitch Free-trade Deal with Canada
(The Canadian Press)
Thailand is planning a major pitch to open free trade talks with Canada, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper begins his second Asia trip in three months.
Thailand will sweeten its offer by positioning itself as a comfortable and safe entry point from which Canada could make further inroads throughout South Asia — raising the potential of a broader trade deal with the region’s emerging, 10-country bloc, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
China is not an ASEAN member, so any economic gains with the bloc would represent a significant broadening of the Harper government’s pro-Asia trade aspirations.
Harper has said increasing trade with Asia is a major economic priority after a series of economic hurdles soured relations with Canada’s largest trading partner, the United States.
Date: March 20, 2012