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Thailand to wrap up domestic consultations on FTA with EU

The Commerce Ministry is preparing to wrap up consultations with relevant agencies and organisations across the country on a proposal to resume free-trade talks with the European Union.

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A summary of opinions would be submitted to a committee on international economic policy chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, The Nation quoted Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, as saying.

Auramon said many parties support the resumption of trade talks, but concerns were expressed over the possible influx into Thailand of products such as wine and liquor on a zero-percent tariff if a trade pact were ultimately to be signed.

Some parties were worried that access to cheaper wine and liquor would have an adverse impact on public health.

Trade negotiations between the EU and Thailand have been halted since 2014.

According to the European Commission, two-way trade between the EU and Thailand neared 38 billion EUR (42 billion USD) last year.

The EU is Thailand's third largest export market, with 22.9 billion EUR worth of Thai goods and services being sold to the bloc, mainly machinery and transportation equipment./.VNA

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