Friday, December 06, 2019

Public forum to be held on reviving Thai-European FTA talks

Sep 23. 2019
Auramon Supthaweethum
Auramon Supthaweethum
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By The Nation

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A seminar titled “Opportunity and challenges for Thailand in Thai-EU free trade agreement negotiations” was held in response to Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit’s decision to continue discussions with the European Union on the FTA, said Auramon Supthaweethum, director of the Department of International Trade Negotiations (DTN), after the opening speech at the seminar on Monday.

She said the DTN is studying the pros and cons of a trade agreement. The study is expected to wrap up in November.

The department will also talk to businesses, including farmers, and civil society to garner their opinions.

Auramon said the department held a similar session in August, but with only a small group of people. A public forum will be held in October and November.

The EU is a major market for Thailand as the bloc’s population is estimated at 512 million people, making it the kingdom’s fourth largest trading partner and second in the number of investors in the country, Auramon said.

FTA talks with the bloc were halted in 2014.

Thai exports to the EU were valued at $12.06 billion (Bt366 billion) from January to June this year, while imports touched $9.81 billion.

In 2018, Thailand’s exports to the EU totalled $25.04 billion. Computers and computer parts, electrical circuits, electronic products, gems and jewellery and air conditioners and related parts formed the bulk of exports. Meanwhile, Thailand’s imports from the bloc were valued at $22.24 billion last year, with the main products being machines and machine parts, aircraft, gliders, aviation equipment, electrical machinery and parts, chemicals, medicine, and pharmaceutical products.

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