BANGKOK (NNT) – Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit and EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis announced that the two sides have agreed to relaunch negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the European Union, with both sides aiming to complete the talks within the first quarter of this year.
Jurin described the meeting as “historic” as it was the first time that political representatives of both sides agreed to relaunch free-trade talks. He will now seek the Cabinet’s endorsement to resume trade talks, while Dombrovskis will seek approval from the EU’s 27 member states.
This marks a significant step forward for Thailand, which has been seeking an FTA agreement with the European Union for almost 10 years. Negotiations for the FTA were first launched in March 2013 but were put on hold the following year.
If the resumed talks lead to an agreement, Thailand will become the third ASEAN country to have an FTA with the EU, after Vietnam and Singapore.
EU is Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner
The EU is Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner, after China, the United States, and Japan. Last year, bilateral trade between Thailand and the EU totaled 1.3 trillion baht (US$41 billion), accounting for 7% of Thailand’s total trade.
Thailand’s exports to the EU last year totaled 843.3 billion baht, with key export products including computers, computer equipment, and components, gems and jewelry, air-conditioners and components, rubber products, chicken, and electronic circuit boards.
Also in 2022, Thai imports from the EU totaled 594.2 billion baht, with major import products including machinery and components, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electrical machinery, and tools.
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Reporter : Krajangwit Johjit
Rewriter : Paphamon Arayasukawat
National News Bureau : http://thainews.prd.go.th