Trade integration of Thailand with Mekong region

Hiroyuki Taguchi (Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Government of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of the trade integration of Thailand with the Mekong region in comparison with its trade integration with the other major partners (advanced ASEAN, China, India, Japan, and the USA).


The study adopts the gravity trade model as an analytical framework, for the period from the 1980s through the 2000s.


It is found that Thailand's trade integration with the Mekong region has remarkably grown from the 1980s to the 2000s, in the sense that Thailand's total trade with the Mekong region, which lies below the gravity‐model standard in the 1980s, exceeds the standard in the 1990s and the 2000s. However, it is also found that the intensity of Thailand's trade integration with the Mekong region is still behind that with advanced ASEAN even in the 2000s. It might come from the higher service‐link costs that prevent the Mekong region from being fully involved in the international production network.


The paper may be valuable to the policy makers and researchers in the Mekong region, since it contributes to reviewing the two‐decade progress of the regional cooperation of the Greater Mekong Subregion from such quantitative perspectives as trade integration.



Taguchi, H. (2013), "Trade integration of Thailand with Mekong region", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 175-187.

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