The government has approved negotiations for an economic deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek, CEPA would be Thailand’s first free trade agreement (FTA) with a Middle Eastern country. The UAE is a key trading partner of Thailand in the Middle East and represents a new potential market. It is also an important center for trade, banking and transportation in the region, as well as a source for loading and forwarding products to other countries.
The negotiation framework for CEPA will cover 20 issues, including trade in goods, services, e-commerce, digital trade and intellectual property.
The draft negotiation framework aims to expand trade and investment opportunities, promote and attract investment, and emphasize all sectors that may be affected by trade liberalization.
The spokesperson added that the CEPA deal will help Thailand reduce its trade deficit with the UAE, as Thailand will be able to export more products to the Middle Eastern country.
Important Thai exports to the UAE include food products, textiles, clothing, leather, wood products, chemicals, rubber and plastic products, and electrical appliances.
According to a recent study, the CEPA deal is projected to help expand Thailand’s GDP by 318 million to 357 million US dollars. (NNT)