BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand and the European Union (EU) are now back in talks to establish a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), for the first time since the initiative was put on hold in 2014.

This morning, Ambassador of the European Union to Thailand, H.E. Pirkka Tapiola, paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit at the Ministry of Commerce, to discuss various topics, as well as gauge the future prospects of resumption of FTA talks between Thailand and the EU, in order to facilitate and expand opportunities for businesses from the two regions.

Discussions for an EU-Thailand FTA were launched in March 2013 but were put on hold following political unrest.

The EU (27 countries) is Thailand’s 5th largest trading partner after ASEAN, China, Japan and the United States.

In 2020, trade value between the two economies totaled 33.1 billion USD (1.03 trillion THB) which accounted for 7.56% of Thailand’s global trade.

Thai exports to the EU were 17.6 billion USD (545.9 billion THB); top export categories included computer and components, gems and jewelry, rubber products, air conditioners and components, vehicle equipment and components, circuit boards, machinery and components, motorcycles and components, electrical appliances and components and lenses.

Thai imports from the EU totaled 15.4 billion USD (486.8 billion THB); top import categories were machinery and components, chemicals, medical and pharmaceutical products, electrical machinery and components, automotive components and equipment, scientific instruments and aircraft.

During the first four months of 2021, trade between the two economies was valued at 12.8 billion USD (388.3 billion THB), 10.95% growth compared to the same period last year. Exports generated 7.3 billion USD (218.4 billion THB) for Thailand, a 17.98% increase, while imports from the EU were 5.6 billion USD (169.8 billion THB), a 2.94% increase on the same period last year.

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