Thailand to finalise EU free trade talks in 2025 

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12 March, 2024

Thailand expects to complete negotiations over a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) in 2025, Prime Minister Settha Thavisin said on Tuesday, as the government seeks to draw trade and investment to boost the economy.

Talks on the Thai-EU FTA should be completed within one year and a half, Mr Srettha, also the finance minister, said in a statement after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to France.

Trade talks resumed last year after having been stalled for nearly a decade. The EU had halted negotiations in 2014 after a military coup ousted the civilian government in Thailand. The coup was staged by then-army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha, whose former political party, the United Thai Nation (UT) Party, is now part of the current coalition government.

Thailand exported US$21.8 billion worth of goods to the EU last year, including autos, computers, jewellery and electric circuits, government data shows, making the bloc its fourth-largest trading partner.

The French president would support Thailand’s request for visa exemption from members of Schengen states, Mr Srettha said, adding the request would be considered after June and hopefully be completed by the end of the year. 

Macron will also visit Thailand next year, Mr Srettha added.

Last week, the Thai premier said the government aims to attract more than 8.5 million travellers from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, expected to bring in an estimated 664 billion baht this year.

Source: Bangkok Post