In September 2022, the European Union (EU) and Thailand finalized the text of the EU-Thailand Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
The PCA will enhance the political dialogue on issues of global concern and will give more scope for mutually-beneficial cooperation in a wide number of policy areas, including environment, energy, climate change, transport, science and technology, trade, employment, and social affairs, human rights, education, agriculture, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, the fight against corruption and organized crime, migration and culture. It will be a roadmap, which will positively frame EU-Thai relations in the years to come.
Although not formally ratified yet, the PCA is a legally binding international agreement that effectively renews the legal foundation of the parties’ relationship and indicates intent from the EU to support Thailand in enhancing its economy and attracting greater business activity and diverse foreign investment. Moreover, the PCA is a progressive step in Thai-European trade negotiations, which had previously been on hold for several years.
The agreement has the potential to provide the necessary framework upon which Thailand and the EU could agree on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA). If successful, Thailand would become the third ASEAN nation to partner with the EU in an FTA.
The initialing ends a process that started in November 2004, when the Council authorized the Commission to negotiate individual Framework Agreements on Partnership and Cooperation with Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.
(Sources: Watson Farley & Williams; European Union External Action Service)