Thailand prepares for FTA talks with EU in January

Thailand will hold a second round of FTA discussions with the EU, focusing on trade liberalization and aiming to finalize the agreement in 2 years.

Thailand aims to finalize a free trade agreement with the EU within two years

Thailand is preparing to hold a second round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks with the European Union (EU) at the end of January. The goal is to reach an agreement within the next two years. Department of Trade Negotiations Director General Sothima Imsavastikul stressed that the talks will prioritize liberalization of trade, investment and services. Three meetings are planned annually, with a view to concluding negotiations by 2025.

Recent developments in the Thai-EU FTA negotiations

The first round of discussions took place in Brussels, Belgium in September. 19 expert-level sub-committees covering various business aspects including digital commerce, intellectual property and sustainable development participated in the talks. Trade Minister Bhumtham Vechayachai discussed the FTA with European Parliamentarians in Bangkok, hoping for their support in speedily concluding and implementing the Thai-EU FTA. Discussions will include issues related to green trade, environmental sustainability and climate change.

EU's key role in Thailand's global trade

The European Union is Thailand's fourth largest trading partner and an important economic partner of Thailand. Two-way trade between Thailand and the EU reached US$35 billion in the first ten months of the year, accounting for 7.3% of Thailand's total world trade. Thailand's exports to the EU, including computers and rubber products, were worth $18.2 billion, while imports from the EU, such as machinery and medical supplies, totaled $16.7 billion. The EU's approval is essential for the FTA, and recent contacts underline the EU's serious interest in Thailand as an economic partner.

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Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

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