EFTA States and Thailand Meet for Their Third Round of Negotiations Towards a Free Trade Agreement
The negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA States with Thailand were initially launched in October 2005 and on hold since 2006. In June 2022, The EFTA States and Thailand met in Borgarnes, Iceland, to relaunch free trade negotiations. The Parties foresee to conclude a broad-based and mutually beneficial free trade agreement covering all areas of trade. Since then, three rounds of negotiations were held which emphasised an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement. For more information about EFTA’s objectives in the negotiations with Thailand, click here.
On 28-30 June 2022, the first round of the free trade agreements was held in Bangkok, Thailand. There was a wide range of discussion on trade topics which were trade in goods, origin trade facilities and customs cooperation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), technical barriers of trade (TBT), trade remedies, trade services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, government procurement, trade and sustainable development, technical cooperation and capacity building, general, final and institutional provisions and dispute settlement. Discussions were constructive and helped pave the path as a result.
On 1-4 November 2022, the second round of negotiations was held in Geneva. The discussion continued to emphasise the same topics; however, it does add a focus on intellectual property rights. The exchanges were both positive and productive. In some areas substantive progress was achieved. For the second round report, click here
On 24-27 January 2023, delegations from the EFTA States and the Kingdom of Thailand met for their third round of negotiations on an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement. Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof, Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while Director General Auramon Supthaweetum from the Department of Trade Negotiations in the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, headed the Thai delegation.
Discussions took place at heads level and in fifteen expert groups to continuously address negotiation topics from the first and second rounds. The exchanges were productive and result-oriented, allowing for substantial progress in many areas. Delegations agreed to hold the next round in April 2023. EFTA’s full report of the third round of negotiations will be available soon. EFTA’s full report of the third round of negotiations is available here.
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