EU-Thailand partnership signed

The European Union and Thailand have finalised the text of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), according to a press statement from the EU office in Bangkok.

The pact is expected to complement a free trade agreement (FTA), for which Thailand and the UE opened negotiations in March this year. However, the FTA still faces considerable local opposition and the talks could take a long time to conclude
 
Thailand is the seventh Asean member to conclude PCA negotiations with the EU. Similar agreements have been signed or are under negotiation with Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.

Chief negotiator David O'Sullivan represented the EU while Thailand was represented by Sihasak Phuangketkeow. They initialled the text at a ceremony on Thursday in Brussels.

The signature of the PCA will take place after the completion of ratification procedures necessary on both sides. It will enter into force once it has been ratified.

The agreement increases the scope of sectoral cooperation in many areas of mutual interest, such as tourism, labour and employment, education, migration, transport and the environment, according to the EU.

"It will enhance the political dialogue and will intensify our work together on global issues such as non-proliferation, counter-terrorism and small arms and light weapons," the statement said.

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