Trade pact with UAE imminent

Trade pact with UAE imminent

Mr Zeyoudi, left, talks with Mr Phumtham as Thailand hosted the fourth round of negotiations for the FTA between UAE and Thailand on Sept 26-28 in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)
Mr Zeyoudi, left, talks with Mr Phumtham as Thailand hosted the fourth round of negotiations for the FTA between UAE and Thailand on Sept 26-28 in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are steadily advancing in their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, with discussions now 80% complete.

Speaking after talking with UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said agreements were reached yesterday in many sectors including food, air conditioners, auto parts, and certain agricultural products.

"The negotiations are about 80% complete and our objective is to conclude the talks by the end of this year," said Mr Phumtham.

Thailand hosted the fourth round of negotiations for the Thai-UAE FTA from Sept 26-28. The government wants to expedite negotiations to promote international trade cooperation.

Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations, said earlier this round involves trade negotiation committee meetings as well as subcommittees focusing on five key areas: trade in goods; trade remedies; legal and institutional matters; rules of origin; and trade in services and digital trade.

Some panels already reached preliminary conclusions, such as customs procedures and trade facilitation, economic cooperation for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, intellectual property rights, investment, technical trade barriers, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

A study estimated a Thai-UAE FTA could grow Thai GDP by US$318-357 million (11.1-12.4 billion baht) and increase exports by $190-243 million (6.65-8.5 billion baht), specifically for food, textiles and apparel, products made from animal hides, wood, rubber, chemicals, electrical and electronic appliances, as well as automobiles and auto parts.

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