Thai Commerce Ministry to propose trade agreement with EFTA

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Auramon said the proposals were recently submitted to Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit and they will be vetted by an international economic policy committee chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai, before being presented to the Cabinet within this month.

The Ministry of Commerce is planning to propose to the Cabinet negotiation details for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). It will also recommend adjustments to existing free trade deals with ASEAN member nations, China, India, South Korea and Australia-New Zealand.

Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN), said the proposals were recently submitted to Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit.

They will be vetted by an international economic policy committee chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai, before being presented to the Cabinet within this month.

The EFTA consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The four states are competitive in several sectors vital to the global economy and score among the highest in the world in competitiveness, wealth creation per inhabitant, life expectancy and quality of life.



According to the DTN, draft negotiations with the EFTA have already been discussed with related sides, including government units, the private sector, the agricultural sector, civil society and academics.
If approved, the DTN will inform the EFTA and schedule dates for negotiations. The deal is expected to create new opportunities for Thai products and services to compete in EFTA markets while also attracting investors to Thailand.

Total trade between Thailand and EFTA member states over the past five years was valued at US$10 billion. During this period, Thai exports and imports were valued at $4.5 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively.

Popular export items include gems and jewelry, clocks and parts, automobiles and auto parts, machinery, and cosmetics. (NNT)












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