Thailand is preparing to embark on talks on a free-trade agreement with the EU with the aim of concluding the deal within two years.
|Illustrative image (Source: aseanbriefing.com) |
Bangkok - Thailand is preparing to embark on talks on a free-trade agreement with the EU with the aim of concluding the deal within two years.
Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations under the Commerce Ministry, the ministry is preparing to lead a team of state agencies to negotiate the first round of the EU-Thailand FTA, scheduled for Sept 18-22 in Brussels, Belgium. This will include meetings at the head of delegation level and 19 expert-level subcommittee meetings.
The Institute of Future Studies for Development, which has conducted a preliminary assessment of the benefits and impacts of the EU-Thailand FTA, expects it to expand Thailand's GDP by 1.28 per cent annually, increase exports by 2.83 per cent annually, and raise imports by 2.81 per cent annually. Furthermore, it will support foreign investment and job creation in Thailand while elevating international standards in related areas such as intellectual property rights, labour rights, environmental standards, and sustainability.
In the first seven months of this year, trade between Thailand and the EU amounted to 24.7 billion USD, with Thailand exporting goods worth 12.9 billion to the EU and importing goods valued at 11.8 billion from the EU.
Thailand's key exports include computers and components, air-conditioners and parts, jewellery, electronic circuit boards, and rubber products. Meanwhile, Thailand mainly imports include machinery and components, pharmaceutical and medical products, chemicals, and electrical machinery and components.
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