Free trade agreement with Thailand inches ever closer

18 September 2023 10:10

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Bangkok - The member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have made good progress in their negotiations towards a free trade agreement with Thailand. At a meeting in Bangkok, both parties confirmed their desire to conclude negotiations by 2024.

The EFTA member states (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland) travelled to Bangkok for the sixth round of negotiations with Thailand towards concluding a free trade agreement (FTA). The talks took place September 12-15, with “substantial progress” made in these efforts, further details of which can be found in a press release issued by EFTA.  The EFTA delegation was headed up by Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof, who was appointed as the delegate for trade agreements on the part of the Federal Council, the Swiss federal government.

The talks focused on issues such as trade in goods and services, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and sustainable development. Overall, the meeting was conducted in a “collaborative and friendly atmosphere”, as the EFTA press release explains. The progress made reflects the mutual commitment of both parties to conclude negotiations efficiently and successfully by 2024, the press release states.

In 2022, the bilateral trade in goods between the EFTA member states and Thailand exceeded 3.5 billion US dollars. Clocks and watches, fish and crustaceans, in addition to pharmaceutical products were the primary exports from EFTA member states to Thailand, while electronic machinery, components used in clocks and watches, and ironware were the primary imports from Thailand. ce/ssp


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