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Thailand and EU resume FTA negotiations

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published on 9/16/2021 – Issue Q3/2021
  
Representatives of the EU and Thailand recently discussed future prospects concerning the resumption of discussions about a Free Trade Agreement between Thailand and the EU, in order to facilitate and expand opportunities for businesses from the parties. 
 
Accordingly, a joint understanding document is envisaged as framework for further talks which are expected to commence in 2022. The joint understanding document would cover trade in goods and services, investments as well as other areas such as intellectual property, government procurement and e-commerce and requires consideration and approval by both parties before further negotiation can be initiated. The previous negotiations for an EU-Thailand FTA were launched in March 2013 but put on hold in 2014 after four rounds, following the military coup.
 
In 2020, the trade value between the EU and Thailand totaled 33.1 billion USD (1.03 trillion THB) which accounted for 7.56 percent of Thailand’s global trade. Thai imports from the EU totaled 15.4 billion USD (486.8 billion THB); the top import categories included machinery and components, chemicals, medical and pharmaceutical products, electrical machinery and components, automotive components and equipment, scientific instruments and aircraft. During the first four months of 2021, Thailand’s imports from the EU were 5.6 billion USD (169.8 billion THB), a 2.94 percent increase on the same period last year, while total trade grew by nearly 11 percent compared to the first 4 months of 2020. 

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