Thailand eyes visa-free agreement with EU countries

Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently announced the country’s ambitions to boost its tourism industry and international relationships, following a promising discussion with French President Emmanuel Macron. Held at the prestigious Élysée Palace in Paris, the meeting centred around a visa-free agreement with Schengen area countries, a strategic move that France has expressed support for.

The Thai prime minister’s announcement came on the heels of a joint press conference held with President Macron. A key topic of discussion was the visa-free initiative, which is expected to be considered after the European Parliament elections slated for 2024.

If assented to, the agreement is set to significantly enhance tourism and business interactions between Thailand and the 27 Schengen nations, fostering tighter collaboration across an array of sectors.

The talks between the two leaders were not limited to tourism alone. They delved into military cooperation and the upcoming Thailand-European Union free trade negotiations, which are projected to conclude in a timeframe of 18 months.

A notable potential area of synergy that came under the spotlight was the incorporation of Thai silk into the French fashion industry.

PM Srettha emphasised that the proposed visa-free agreement was a significant step towards enhancing mutual understanding and promoting economic, cultural, and tourism exchanges between Thailand and the Schengen states.

Further collaboration

The 62 year old Thai prime minister expressed optimism that the initiative would not only contribute to the country’s tourism sector but also serve as a springboard for further collaboration in a variety of sectors.

“The visa-free travel initiative will undoubtedly strengthen the cordial ties between our nations, augment tourism, and foster economic growth.”

In response, President Macron acknowledged Thailand’s efforts and expressed France’s readiness to lend support, highlighting that the potential agreement would mutually benefit both sides.

The 46 year old French president also underscored France’s commitment to enhancing cooperation with Thailand beyond tourism, including domains such as military and trade.

“We recognise and appreciate Thailand’s efforts to enhance its international relations and tourism sector. We are ready to support this initiative as it is in the interest of both our nations. Besides, we are committed to bolstering our cooperation beyond tourism to other fields, including the military and trade.”

The proposed free trade agreement between Thailand and the EU was also a principal point of discussion during the meeting. PM Srettha and Macron agreed that the agreement, which is expected to conclude within the next 18 months, would significantly enhance trade relations between Thailand and the European Union.

Thai silk

In addition, the two leaders discussed the possibility of integrating Thai silk into the French fashion industry, highlighting it as a potential area of collaboration that would mutually benefit both countries, said Macron.

“The integration of Thai silk into the French fashion industry presents an exciting opportunity for enhanced collaboration and mutual growth.”

The Bangkok-born Thai PM’s meeting with Macron marks a significant milestone in Thailand’s efforts to improve its international relations and tourism sector. The proposed visa-free agreement and the forthcoming free trade agreement with the European Union underscore the country’s commitment to fostering stronger ties with its international partners.

The meeting concluded on a positive note, with both leaders expressing optimism about the future of their countries’ relations and the promising initiatives discussed.

As Thailand embarks on this exciting journey, the world watches with anticipation, looking forward to witnessing the positive impacts these strategic moves will have on the country’s tourism industry and its international relations.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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