On the occasion of the visit of the EFTA Parliamentary Committee to Bangkok from 5 to 9 September 2022, Mr Conradin Rasi, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Switzerland to Thailand, together with Ms Thea Ottman, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. of Norway to Thailand as well as the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce and the Swiss-Thai Chamber of Commerce organised the Thai-EFTA Business Circle: Roundtable on the Free Trade Agreement Negotiations at the Swiss Residence in Bangkok on 7 September 2022.
Representatives of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand, the premium members of Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, members of the Swiss-Thai Chamber of Commerce as well as representatives of Thai companies who are interested in Thai-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Negotiations attended this event.
The aim of the event was to focus on the recently resumed negotiations between Thailand and EFTA on a free trade agreement (FTA). At the event, Mr Conradin Rasi, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Switzerland to Thailand, gave a welcome remarks and Ms Ingibjörg Ólöf Isaksen, Chair of the EFTA Parliamentary Committee and Member of the Icelandic National Parliament introduced the EFTA Parliamentary Committee Members.
Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof, Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for Trade Agreements and Spokesperson of the EFTA negotiating team, and Mr Duangarthit Nidhi-U-Tai, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations of Thailand (DTN), presented the views of the two negotiating partners at this early stage of the negotiations and explored perspectives of a possible FTA. Thailand expects to take about two years to conclude talks with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The planned free-trade agreement (FTA) with EFTA will cover not only trade in goods, but also trade in services, investment, trade facilitation and environmental issues, and will reduce bilateral export and import tariffs. The EFTA countries aim to conclude a comprehensive, modern and ambitious FTA. In addition, it aims to cover all areas of trade while preserving a balance between offensive and defensive interests of EFTA countries. The EFTA will host the next round of bilateral meetings from 31 October to 4 November 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ms Thea Ottman, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. of Norway to Thailand delivered the closing remarks and a networking apéro with the Swiss and Norwegian Chambers of Commerce followed the main event.
About the Thai-EFTA Business Circle
Established in December 2020, the Thai-EFTA Business Circle is a platform for engagement between the private sectors of Thailand and the EFTA states Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Embassy of Switzerland and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, in partnership with the Swiss-Thai Chamber of Commerce (STCC) and the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce (TNCC), have been organising a series of roundtables to address topics in the context of modern trade and investment relations as well as in the framework of Thai-EFTA free trade negotiations.
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