Thailand and the European Union (EU) are resuming talks for a free-trade agreement (FTA). In July 2019, the Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister of Thailand announced in parliament that the country will revive FTA negotiations with the EU which have been stalled for the past five years following the 2014 coup and introduction of military rule. In the meantime, the EU has signed FTAs with two other countries in South East Asia, Singapore and Vietnam.
In this context, in August 2019, it was revealed that Thailand and the European Union are ready to sign a draft Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to promote bilateral trade and investment. During the ASEAN Plus Foreign Ministers, Federica Mogherini, the EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and vice chairwoman of the European Commission, and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha endorsed the resumption of FTA negotiations.
In 2018, total bilateral trade between the EU and Thailand amounted to EUR 38 billion (USD 43 billion). The EU is Thailand’s third largest trade partner (after China and Japan), accounting for 9.1% of the country’s total trade. Thailand is the EU’s 25th largest trading partner worldwide.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; The Thaiger)