Country eyes new bilateral committees in export drive

Country eyes new bilateral committees in export drive

Thailand looks set to establish new joint trade committees (JTCs) with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Austria and Kazakhstan next year to boost exports to these markets.

The Trade Negotiations Department's director-general Auramon Supthaweethum said the new JTCs will also be instrumental in facilitating investment and expediting economic cooperation.

JTCs act as platforms for high-ranking officials to have regular discussions in order to cooperate on trade and investment. Their cooperation involves formulating trade and investment plans, setting trade volume targets, and solving trade problems and finding solutions.

The committees also offer the chance for ministers on both sides to meet at least once a year to enhance relationships. The JTCs act as a focal point and let officials know who to contact to solve trade problems.

Thailand currently has JTCs established with 32 trading partners, including China, Japan, India, the US, the EU and the UK.

In 2023, Thailand plans to host JTC meetings with 10 trading partners including South Africa, the Maldives, India, Israel, Singapore, Cambodia and Indonesia, while Thailand is scheduled to attend JTC meetings hosted by Bangladesh, Morocco, Bhutan and Malaysia.

In a related development, Thailand plans to host the first meeting of the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement (Atiga) upgrade since 2010.

The meeting will be held between Sept 29-30 in Krabi, with the key agenda including customs modernisation, express consignment, trade and the environment, and e-documentation.

The Atiga upgrade seeks to ensure that Asean remains relevant, modern, forward-looking, more responsive to regional and global developments, and able to increase the efficient utilisation of Atiga for businesses to benefit from regional integration.

Atiga aims to achieve a free flow of goods in the region, resulting in fewer trade barriers and deeper economic linkages among the member states, along with lower business costs, increased trade, and a larger market and economies of scale for businesses.

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