Govt to finalise EU FTA talks this year
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Govt to finalise EU FTA talks this year

Thailand expects to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union this year as the kingdom works with the EU on its commitments to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The EU embassy held a Europe Day 2024 celebration in Bangkok yesterday to mark a ground-breaking event that laid the foundations of what would become the EU. According to the EU website, Europe Day is held on May 9 every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic "Schuman Declaration", which was presented by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on May 9, 1950, it said.

The declaration aimed to prevent another war in Europe after the devastation of WWII through pooling coal and steel production among European members. Since then, it has helped Europeans become closer, it noted.

In his opening remarks, Jakkapong Sangmanee, the Minister to the Prime Minister's Office, said that the Thai government aims to conclude the negotiations on the EU-Thailand FTA this year.

"This FTA will not only help stimulate economic growth in both regions but also benefit our businesses and inter-regional supply chain," he added.

He said that Thailand is committed to working with the EU towards achieving sustainable economic growth, adding that Thailand would reaffirm its stance to combat IUU fishing to achieve the right balance between sustainability and the livelihoods of labourers.

"[We] would seek close engagement with the EU on this matter," he added.

David Daly, the EU ambassador, said the EU would like to work with Thailand through the FTA negotiations. He added that investments have grown on both sides. The EU is the third-largest investor in Thailand, helping to provide over 160,000 jobs to Thais. He said both sides could do more together on sustainable development, climate and oceanic governance.

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