June 28 2024

Third round of negotiations for EU-Thailand FTA

The Thai Ministry of Commerce has reported that the third round of Thailand-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation just held in Bruxelles from 17-21 June has made progress, with the aim of finalizing the FTA by mid-2025.

The discussions included both head of delegation meetings and 20 expert subgroup sessions. Each group has outlined steps for further work, such as information and opinion exchanges and intersessional discussions, to ensure the timeline is met. Thailand will host the fourth round of negotiations in Bangkok on 4th of November, this year.

Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce has prioritized the FTA negotiations with the EU, as it considers a top government task. This will enhance Thailand's trade opportunities in the large and high-demand EU market, as well as attract investments from the EU and other countries seeking to benefit from exports to the EU. The private sectors from both sides have consistently pushed for these negotiations however the negotiations still face challenges from the inclusion of new issues, such as government procurement, state enterprises, competition, trade and sustainable development, energy, and raw materials. The Thai negotiating team from various agencies is prepared to move forward to reach a balanced and beneficial conclusion for the Thai economy.

In 2023, the EU was Thailand's fifth-largest trading partner, following ASEAN, China, the United States, and Japan. Trade between Thailand and the EU was valued at USD 41.58 billion, an increase of 1.43% from the previous year. Thailand's exports to the EU amounted to USD 21.84 billion, a decrease of 4.21%, while imports from the EU were valued at USD 19.74 billion, an increase of 8.50%. For the first five months (January-May 2024), trade between Thailand and the EU totaled USD 17.98 billion, an increase of 1.58% from the same period of the previous year. Thailand's exports to the EU were valued at USD 9.82 billion, an increase of 3.75%, and imports from the EU were valued at USD 8.16 billion, a decrease of 0.92%.

Source: Thailand Department of Trade Negotiations