Thailand to host second round of FTA discussions with EU, aiming to finalize agreement in 2 years, focusing on trade liberalization.
Thailand aims to finalize free trade agreement with EU within two years
Thailand is gearing up to host the second round of discussions on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) at the end of January. The goal is to reach an agreement within the next two years. The Department of Trade Negotiations Director-General, Chotima Iemsawasdikul, emphasized that the talks will prioritize liberalizing trade, investment, and services. The plan is to hold three meetings annually, with the aim of completing negotiations by 2025.
Recent developments in Thai-EU FTA negotiations
The first round of discussions took place in Brussels, Belgium, in September. The negotiations involved 19 expert-level subcommittees covering various trade aspects, including digital trade, intellectual property, and sustainable development. Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai discussed the FTA with members of the European Parliament in Bangkok, expressing hope for their support in swiftly concluding and enforcing the Thai-EU FTA. Discussions also included green trade, environmental sustainability, and climate change issues.
Currently, the EU has signed FTA agreements with Vietnam and Singapore. And in the meantime, EU in talks with Indonesia. As for the EU-Thailand FTA, it is in the process of resuming negotiations. Like the EU FTA with Malaysia and the Philippines
EU’s significant role in Thailand’s global trade
The EU is a crucial economic partner for Thailand, being the country’s fourth-largest trading partner. In the first ten months of the year, two-way trade between Thailand and the EU reached US$35 billion, accounting for 7.3% of Thailand’s total global trade. Thailand’s exports to the EU, including computers and rubber products, were valued at $18.2 billion, with imports from the EU, such as machinery and medical products, totaling $16.7 billion. The EU’s approval is vital for the FTA, and recent interactions underscore the EU’s keen interest in Thailand as an economic partner.
Source : National News Bureau of Thailand