Public hearings to be held over Asean-Canada FTA

Public hearings to be held over Asean-Canada FTA

Thailand and Asean counterparts are set to rev up discussions with Canada to establish a scope of negotiations for an Asean-Canada free trade agreement (FTA), with the aim to kick off negotiations later this year.

Duangarthit Nidhi-u-tai, deputy director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, was recently assigned by the Trade Negotiations Department's director-general, Auramon Supthaweethum, to attend the 13th Asean-Canada Senior Economic Official meeting (Seom-Canada) via video call between June 14-15 to discuss plans under the framework of the Asean-Canada FTA talks.

At the meeting, he said there was considerable progress made regarding the scope of Asean-Canada FTA negotiations as attendees all agreed there was an urgent need to find a solution as soon as possible so that they can have a proposal for the Asean-Canada Economic Ministers Meeting to be held in September this year.

Previously, the Asean Secretariat had studied the Asean-Canada FTA and found that Thailand's GDP could increase by US$7.967 billion (about 254.944 billion baht), or a rise of 1.97% while Asean GDP would rise by $39.361 billion (1.259,552 trillion baht), an increase of 1.6%, according to Mr Duangarthit.

Meanwhile, the pact, if implemented, could boost Canada's GDP by $5.104 billion (163.328 billion baht), an increase of 0.3%.

According to Mr Duangarthit, the Trade Negotiations Department will organise a webinar series through video conference to publicise the results of the study and open public hearings with all stakeholders on the establishment of the Asean-Canada FTA between June 22-29. Opinions made at the public hearings will benefit Thailand's decision on whether to open the Asean-Canada FTA negotiations, he said.

Two-way trade between Thailand and Canada totalled $2.312 billion last year, up 0.53%. Of the total, exports from Thailand represented $1.544 billion, up 0.67%, while imports made up for $767.45 million, up 0.37%.

In the first four months of 2021, bilateral trade between Thailand and Canada edged up by 0.5% to $846 million, with exports from Thailand reaching $588 million, up by 0.69%.

Do you like the content of this article?

Health ministry clarifies ATK tests only for high-risk and symptomatic students

The Ministry of Public Health has confirmed that antigen tests for Covid-19 are not required for students returning to school for the new semester but should be administered to children considered high risk or showing mild symptoms.


Former FTI chairman joins Thai Sang Thai

Former Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree has entered politics as the economic chief of the Thai Sang Thai Party.


Laos may face 'gaps' in gasoline supply as prices soar, major supplier says

Gasoline supplies in Laos may face "some gaps", a major supplier said on Monday, after the government held an emergency meeting to address soaring prices and panic buying in the Southeast Asian nation.