Japan - Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA)
 

    Background

    Negotiations for a Japan - Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement - (JTEPA) began in February, 2004, and the Agreement was signed by government leaders in Tokyo, Japan, on April 3, 2007. The Agreement, which came into force on November 1, 2007, consists of trade in goods, rules of origin of products, trade in services, investment, and the movement of natural persons, as well as cooperation in 9 areas and 7 joint projects.

    Significant Features of the Agreement

    Trade in Goods
    Tariffs on 99.51% of goods imported from Japan in 2006, amounting to 99.49% of the total value of imported Japanese goods, have been reduced or eliminated, or receive a special quota quantity from Japan. At the same time, tariffs on 92.95% of Thai exports to Japan were reduced or eliminated or granted special quotas, comprising 98.06% of all tariff lines for Thai exports to Japan in 2006.

    Thai goods for which tariffs have been completely eliminated include:
    Gemstones and jewelry, textiles and apparel, petrochemical goods, and plastic products, and foodstuffs, including shrimp and prawn prepared, preserved and frozen, or boiled shrimps and prawn, legumes, vegetables (okra, olives, fresh potatoes, asparagus); fresh chilled and frozen fruit (durian, papaya, mangoes, mangosteen, coconuts), manioc starch, and potatoes, either sliced or in the form of pellets.

    Japanese Goods for which tariffs have been eliminated:
    Foodstuffs, including some fresh chilled or frozen fish, crabs, fresh shrimp and prawn prepared, preserved and frozen, or boiled shrimp and prawn, temperate climate fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, prunes, and various berries; gems and jewelry, textiles and apparel; and steel and steel products.

    Thai Goods on which Japan Imposes Quotas
    Fresh bananas and pineapples, processed pork, molasses, and manioc flour

    Japanese Goods on which Thailand Imposes Quotas
    Potatoes, large onions and seeds, garlic, copra, pepper, soybean seed, soybean oil, coconut, coffee seeds, tea, rice, palm oil, coconut oil, instant coffee, longan, sugar, fat free milk powder, raw milk, and reconstituted milk, iron and iron products

    Services
    Thailand has committed to allow Japan to establish business and provide services beyond the 14 subcategories obligated under the World Trade Organization covenant; for example, general management consultancies, marketing management consultancies and advertising services, consultancies in logistics, luxury class hotels, marina services, computer services, and services in higher education.
    Japan has committed to allow Thai nationals to establish business and to provide services, and/or to work to provide services in Japan beyond the 65 subcategories committed under WTO agreement, and has adjusted more than 70 additional subcategories; for example hotel services, restaurant services, banquet services, tourism services, spas, entertainment services, as well as instruction in Thai dance, Thai boxing, and Thai cooking.

    Investment
    Thailand has committed to allow Japan and Japanese citizens to hold up to 50% equity in automotive production firms (with Thais holding the remaining equity), and the company established is not required to seek permission to operate the business.
    Japan has committed to liberalize all area of investment for Thai investors, with the exception of industries involved in pharmaceutical production, space and aeronautics, petroleum, energy, broadcasting, mining, fisheries, agriculture, forestry, and related basic industries.

    Movement of Natural Persons
    Each country has agreed to relax restrictions and facilitate the entry and temporary stay for the other's nationals to undertake employment under specific conditions; for example, the prior experience requirement for Thai cooks and chefs to work in Japan has been lowered from 10 to 5 years.

    Cooperation
    The Japan - Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement sets parameters for cooperation in 9 areas:
    - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
    - Education and Human Resource Development
    - Enhancement of the Business Environment
    - Financial Services
    - Information and Communication Technology
    - Science, Technology, Energy and the Environment
    - Small and Medium Enterprises
    - Tourism; and
    - Trade and Investment Promotion

    Seven initial project areas have been identified for cooperation in an agreement between the Thai Minister of Commerce and the Japanese Ministry of economics, trade and Industry:
    - "Kitchen of the World" Project
    - Japan - Thailand "Steel Industry Cooperation Programme"
    - "Automotive Human Resources Development Institute" Project
    - Energy Conservation Project
    - Value - creation Economy Project
    - Public - private Partnership
    - Cooperative Project in the Textile and Garment Industry

    In additions, the Prime Ministers of Thailand and Japan have exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding confirming the interpretation of certain chapters of the JTEPA relating to strict measures to control import and export of toxic and hazardous waste, and relating to the maintenance of the right to determine the issuance of patents for micro - organisms and parts of natural microorganisms under one's own laws consistent with the provisions of the TRIPS agreement.

    AGREEMENT BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND FOR AN ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP
    - Table of Contents
    - Preamble
    - Chapter 1 General Provisions
    - Chapter 2 Trade in Goods

    Annex 1 Schedules in relation to Article 18
    - GeneralNotes
    - Notes for Schedule of Japan
    - Schedule of Japan
    - Notes for schedule of Thailand
    - Schedule of Thailand
    - Chapter 3 Rules of Origin
    Annex 2 Product Specific Rules
    Annex 3 Minimum Data Requirement for Certificate of Origin
    - Chapter 4 Customs Procedures
    - Chapter 5 Paperless Trading
    - Chapter 6 Mutual Recognition
    Annex 4 Annex on Electrical Products
    - Chapter 7 Trade in Services
    Annex 5 Schedules of Specific Commitments in relation to Article 77
    - Explanatory Notes
    - Schedule of Japan
    - Schedule of Thailand
    - Chapter 8 Investment
    Annex 6 Schedules in relation to Chapter 8
    - Schedule of Japan
    - Schedule of Thailand
    - Chapter 9 Movement of Natural Persons
    Annex 7 Specific Commitments for the Movement of Natural Persons
    - Specific Commitments of Japan
    - Specific Commitments of Thailand
    - Chapter 10 Intellectual Property
    - Chapter 11 Government Procurement
    - Chapter 12 Competition
    - Chapter 13 Cooperation
    - Chapter 14 Dispute Settlement
    - Chapter 15 Final Provisions
  • Related Links
    Thai Ministry of foreign Affairs
    Thai Department of Trade Negotiations
    Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade, and Industry
    Thai Customs Department
    Royal Gazette of Thailand