Thailand’s Commerce Ministry has said it is ready to revise long-delayed FTA negotiations with the EU and has scheduled public hearings nationwide before proceeding with proposals of the talks for cabinet approval by November.
Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department (Source: Bangkok Post)
Local media on September 24 quoted AuramonSupthaweethum, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, as sayingthe ministry will gather all public opinions and relevant studies forpolicymakers to decide whether to resume the bilateral trade talks.
According to Auramon, the EU is a largepotential market with a population of 512 million. It is also Thailand’s fourthlargest trading partner and second biggest investor.
Two-way trade reached 47.3 billion USD in 2018,with Thai exports accounting for 25 billion USD.
FTA negotiations between Thailand and the EUhave been delayed since the 2014 coup in Thailand.
The EU pursued trade negotiations with otherASEAN nations and has signed FTAs with Singapore and Vietnam.
Recently, EU Ambassador to Thailand PirkkaTapiola told Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak that the bloc is ready toresume FTA negotiations with Thailand. Both sides also agreed to resumeFTA negotiations between ASEAN and the EU.
Tapiola said the negotiations will commenceafter the EU settles on a new European Commission next month.
Somkid said the EU has shown interest in takinga greater role in trade and investment in ASEAN and is keen to join theAyeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy and the RegionalComprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
EU investors also expressed intentions to usethe Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as a production base for exports to othercountries in the region, he added./.VNA