Sensitive issues to be carefully considered for Thailand-EU FTA talks

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BANGKOK, 26 April 2013 Thailand will carefully study sensitive issues under the upcoming talks for a Thailand-European Union Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) in order to maximize the country’s benefits.

Mr. Olarn Chaipravat, chief of the Thailand Trade Representative Office and head of the Thai team negotiating with the EU, revealed that the government would cautiously consider sensitive and concerned issues before the next round of the Thailand-EU FTA talks.

The second round of the Thailand-EU FTA talks is scheduled to be held in Brussels, Belgium, from May 27-31.

In-depth data collection and negotiation plan prepared by responsible working groups will be finalized by May 15.

According to Mr. Olarn, the sensitive issues include the impact of the EU’s plan to end Thailand’s eligibility for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in 2014, intellectual-property rights, tariff reductions on alcoholic beverages and tobaccos, dispute-settlement mechanisms, and sustainable development of trade with emphasis on labour and environment and government procurement.