Thailand voices support for WTO reforms

Thailand’s government is voicing strong support for reforms at the World Trade Organization. The reforms are designed to restore confidence in the multilateral trading system, increase transparency and shore up supply chains that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Kingdom’s Deputy Commerce Minister, Sansern Samalapa, said Thailand backs the WTO’s attempt to restore confidence in the multilateral trading system and move on to broader reforms of the supranational agency that governs global trade. Trade is essential to Thailand, as exports are the most significant driver of its economy.

WTO, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said recently that confidence in the WTO would be restored by early successes, such as a package of responses to the current health and economic crises brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reaching agreements in negotiations on fisheries subsidies and electronic commerce would also boost confidence.

The G20 recently renewed calls for WTO reform. Wolff said WTO members should begin a serious discussion on the reform of the organization.

Sansern participated in a recent virtual WTO Ministerial Meeting. He said measures to restore confidence “must comply with WTO rules in terms of transparency, appropriateness, and temporary enforcement. The measures should not create unnecessary trade barriers in order to stabilize international trade and promote global production chain recovery rapidly.”

During the past few years, trade tensions have been on the rise, with many countries introducing protectionist measures on a bilateral basis.

To avoid protectionism, some manufacturers have shifted their production and supply chains to new trade-friendly countries. Thailand and countries in Southeast Asia have benefited from this trend.

Photo courtesy of