European Union, Thailand agree to restart trade negotiations


March 15 (UPI) — The European Union and Thailand announced on Wednesday they have renewed trade negotiations that could lead to a robust agreement between the alliance and Asia’s second-largest economy.

The goal of the free trade agreement would be to boost trade and investment by addressing a wide range of issues, including market access for goods, services, investment and government procurement; swift and effective Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary procedures, the bloc said in a statement.


It would also address the protection of intellectual property rights including Geographical Indications, and the removal of obstacles to digital trade and trade in energy and raw materials, thereby supporting the digital and green transitions.

“A modern, dynamic EU-Thailand [free trade agreement] would benefit both sides & strengthen/diversify EU trade ties with Indo-Pacific,” EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis said on Twitter.

Initial trade talks between the European Union and Thailand stalled in 2014 after a military coup in the Asian country. The alliance approved a measure to renew talks in 2019 but Wednesday was the first concrete step in making that happen.

The European Union is already Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner and third-largest investor in the Asian country.


The European Union proposals will be publicly posted after initial negotiations to meet transparency requirements and an assessment will be carried out covering such areas as the economic, environmental, human rights and social impacts of the agreement.

“The EU and Thailand are committed to advancing swiftly in the FTA talks and aim to hold a first substantive round of negotiations in the coming months,” the European Union statement said.