Free Trade Agreements: Impact In Thailand
FTA Watch | Bangkok | June 2005 | 220 pages
Foreward by FTA Watch
FTA Watch, a coalition of activists from academic institutions,
independent organizations under the constitution, NGOs, and various
networks of people’ organizations, was formed on October 11, 2003, in
response to the policy of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s government
of accelerating bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with
several countries. Of special concern were the negotiations with the US,
which could infringe upon the nation’s sovereign rights and engender
vast adverse impacts on the population.
The coalition originally tasked itself with compilation of information on
the content and impact of FTAs that have already been signed, research
and analyses on potential impact of the liberalization of trade, investment
and services on vulnerable sectors, particularly agriculture and public
health, and dissemination of all findings to all sectors of society. In addition to countless press briefings, presentations in public seminars, newspaper
articles, and newsletters, the coalition has published two books in Thai
on the impact of FTAs on Thailand, in February 2004 and November
This English language book contains the translated versions of selected
articles by FTA Watch members that appeared in the two Thai books.
This publication is aimed at disseminating information to international
civil society for the purpose of sharing the analyses and experience of the
FTA struggle in Thailand.
Our experience in Thailand has confirmed that information is key to the
generation of public opinion and participation. The FTA Watch coalition
itself has since become more action-oriented as more information came
into light. This book, then, is our contribution towards increasing public
international scrutiny of FTA negotiations that have a tendency to be
carried out in secret.