BANGKOK, 4 January 2013 The parliament has given a green light to the government to continue talks on the Thai-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aimed at increasing Thailand’s competitiveness in trade and investment in the EU market.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said on 2 February 2013 that the parliamentary joint sitting on 29 January 2013 approved a draft of the Thai-EU FTA framework submitted to the parliament by the Cabinet. The parliament’s approval will allow Thailand’s negotiating team to announce and start talks on the FTA.
The Ministry of Commerce has set a target to round off the Thai-EU FTA talks as soon as possible with hopes to raise the competitiveness of the country in trade and investment in the EU and international markets.
The minister said the Thai-EU FTA would help reduce the effects of the EU’s decision to strip Thailand of the privileges under its Generalized Scheme of Preferences on 1 January 2015. The FTA would permanently decrease tariffs for Thai exports, helping Thailand not to lose its competitiveness and prevent the EU from relocating its production base to Vietnam. The FTA would also help turn Thailand into the center of trade and investment for the EU in Asia.