Thailand: FTA talks being accelerated

  • Negotiators are revving up free trade talks with dialogue partners for the remaining months this year and look set to resume talks with the EU and join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a newly formed bloc of 11 Pacific Rim nations excluding the US, in 2019.
  • Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said Thailand is scheduled to hold the third round of free trade talks with Sri Lanka on 17-22 Dec 18.
  • In parallel with free trade talks, Thailand in July this year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sri Lanka on a strategic economic partnership covering 10 sectors, with an aim to increase bilateral trade to USD1.5bn (THB49bn) by 2020.
  • The 10 sectors are an investment, infrastructure, development of the agro-industry, fisheries, gems and jewellery, tourism, SMEs, financial cooperation, packaging industries and IT sector development. The MoU also covers other sectors of mutual economic interest. The two sides will further develop their connectivity between cities.
  • Mrs Auramon said Thailand will hold the fourth round of talks with Turkey from 22-24 Dec 18. The two countries are being in the process of exchanging opinion on tariff reduction schedule on goods. The talks are expected to be concluded by 2019 or 2020.
  • She said the 10th round of trade talks with Pakistan will be also held late in 2018 or 1Q19.
  • Mrs Auramon said Thailand is also looking forward to concluding the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of 2018.
  • Regarding the CPTPP, Mrs Auramon said Thailand will proceed with more in-depth study and hold more meetings with a group of people who are still concerned about its impact, especially on loca plant varieties. Mrs Auramon said recently a study of the benefits and impacts of joining CPTPP is likely to be finished later in 2018.

External Link: