Thailand and EU nearing completion of free trade agreement

Image courtesy of Kasikorn Research Center

Thailand is on the verge of finalising a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union within the year, as they collaborate on commitments to halt illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices.

The Europe Day 2024 celebration, held yesterday in Bangkok by the EU embassy, commemorated the historic event that underpinned the establishment of the EU. Europe Day, observed annually on May 9, honours European peace and unity.

The occasion marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, presented by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman on May 9, 1950, aiming to prevent another European war by pooling coal and steel production among European nations.

Jakkapong Sangmanee, the Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, declared during the ceremony that the Thai government plans to conclude the EU-Thailand FTA discussions within the year.

“This FTA will not only stimulate economic growth in both regions but also benefit our businesses and inter-regional supply chain.”

Jakkapong conveyed Thailand’s commitment to collaborate with the EU in achieving sustainable economic growth. Assuring that Thailand would reinforce its commitment to fight IUU fishing, striking a balance between sustainability and workers’ livelihoods. He emphasised the country’s desire for close cooperation with the EU on this issue.

EU ambassador David Daly expressed the EU’s eagerness to cooperate with Thailand through the FTA negotiations. He noted that investments have increased on both sides, with the EU becoming the third-largest investor in Thailand, creating over 160,000 jobs.

Daly added that both parties could further collaborate in areas of sustainable development, climate, and oceanic governance, reported Bangkok Post.

In similar news, The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Phumtham Wechayachai, embarked on an international mission to amplify Thailand’s soft power and enhance Thai-Japan trade. This trip, scheduled for May 11-12, will take the Minister to Tokyo, Japan, where he will participate in the 24th Thai Festival Tokyo event.

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