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business

Thai-Hong Kong FTA to launch in 3rd quarter


A free-trade agreement between Thailand and Hong Kong should be sealed by the third quarter of this year, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Thursday.

Hong Kong also confirmed its interest in joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 15 current members including Thailand, said Jurin, speaking after a video meeting with his Hong Kong counterpart, Edward Yau.

Hong Kong is Thailand’s eighth-largest trading partner with yearly trade worth THB413 billion.

Thai exports to Hong Kong grew rapidly last year, led by frozen pork (345 per cent rise), fresh mango (400 per cent), and soap and cosmetics (216 per cent).

The ministry is awaiting the results of Chulalongkorn University’s study on the FTA, which would remove all tariffs on trade between the two territories.

Thailand is also ready to welcome tourists from Hong Kong, especially elderly travellers seeking wellness and healthcare holidays, said Jurin.

He added that Thailand may be able to forge a “travel bubble” with Hong Kong, one of its largest tourism markets. Hong Kong is already in talks for post-Covid travel bubbles with Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Jurin and Yau also discussed a special agreement for access to Hong Kong’s thriving animation and film industry.

Thailand has expertise in animation production and film editing, which could boost Hong Kong’s animation and film production for the overseas market, said the ministry.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong invited Jurin to give a speech at the 6th Belt and Road Summit on September 13-14. The summit will see senior government officials and business leaders from around the world meet to discuss plans and opportunities in China’s global infrastructure programme.

Published : May 06, 2021

By : The Nation