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EU-Thailand free trade agreement talks to be resumed

Experts from the public and private sectors in ASEAN and the EU discuss building a sustainable digital economy in ASEAN. (Photo: Bangkok Post). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

BANGKOK, Sep 13, 2019, VNA. The European Union is ready to resume long-delayed free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with Thailand, EU Ambassador to Thailand Pirkka Tapiola has affirmed, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

In a meeting with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on September 12, Tapiola stated that the EU is ready to renew talks after five years on ice, according to local media.

Both sides also agreed to resume FTA negotiations between ASEAN and the EU, he said, adding that the negotiations will commence after the EU settles on a new European Commission next month.

According to the Thai PM, Thailand is willing to conduct bilateral strategic partnerships with member countries of the EU. FTA talks will take time, he said.

The EU has shown interest in taking a greater role in trade and investment in ASEAN and is keen to join the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he said.

EU investors also expressed intent to use the Eastern Economic Corridor as a production base to export to other countries in the region, and the bloc agreed to help promote Thailand’s 12 targeted industries that focus largely on high technology.

The EU is the third largest trade partner of both Thailand and ASEAN, while it is the top investor in ASEAN.

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