Thai-UAE free trade agreement 80% finalised, may boost Thai GDP

Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut/ Bangkok Post.

Progress is being made in the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with discussions now reportedly 80% finalised. This update comes from Thailand’s Commerce Minister, Phumtham Wechayachai, who recently held talks with the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.

Phumtham revealed agreements have been made in several sectors, including food, air conditioners, auto parts, and certain agricultural products.

“The negotiations are about 80% complete and our objective is to conclude the talks by the end of this year.”

The fourth round of Thai-UAE FTA negotiations was hosted by Thailand from September 26 to September 28. The government aims to expedite these negotiations to foster international trade cooperation.

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Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Auramon Supthaweethum, stated that this round encompassed trade negotiation committee meetings and sub-committees focusing on five vital areas. These areas included trade in goods, trade remedies, legal and institutional matters, rules of origin, and trade in services and digital trade.

Preliminary conclusions have been reached by some panels, including those relating to customs procedures, trade facilitation, economic cooperation for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, intellectual property rights, investment, technical trade barriers, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

A study suggests that the Thai-UAE free trade agreement could increase Thai GDP by between US$318 to 357 million (11.1 to 12.4 billion baht). In addition, it could enhance exports by US$190 to 243 million (6.65 to 8.5 billion baht).

The sectors that stand to benefit include food, textiles and apparel, products made from animal hides, wood, rubber, chemicals, electrical and electronic appliances, as well as automobiles and auto parts, reported Bangkok Post.

A few months ago, Thailand and the UAE jointly announced the launch of their inaugural free trade agreement. This FTA’s primary objective is to facilitate increased trade, services, and investment between the two nations. Projections indicate an expected 10% growth in bilateral trade within the first year of implementation. Read more HERE.

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