EFTA States and Thailand meet for their first round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement

Published 01-07-2022
From left to right: Mr Sveinung Røren - Norway, Mr Sveinn K. Einarsson - Iceland, Mr Markus Schlagenhof - Switzerland (EFTA Spokesperson), Mr Duangarthit Nidhi-U-Tai, Head of the Thai delegation, Ms Krisztina Bende - EFTA Secretariat, Mr Patrick Ritter - Liechtenstein
After the launch of the resumption of negotiations on 21 June in Borgarnes on the occasion of the EFTA ministerial gathering, EFTA and Thailand held the first round of negotiations on 28 to 30 June in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mr Duangarthit Nidhi-U-Tai, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations headed the Thai delegation while Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof from Switzerland acted as the EFTA Spokesperson.

Experts and heads of delegations met in different groups to discuss trade in goods, rules of origin, trade facilitation and customs cooperation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBT), trade remedies, trade in services, investment, e-commerce, 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 towards the conclusion of a comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement. Delegations agreed to hold the next round in Geneva in October 2022.

Economic relations between the EFTA States and Thailand

Bilateral EFTA-Thailand merchandise trade has more than tripled since 2002 and reached more than USD 3.27 billion in 2021. EFTA’s main exports to Thailand in 2021 were fish, pharmaceutical products, and clocks and watches. For the same year, merchandise imports from Thailand consisted mainly of iron and steel structures and parts, machinery, and electronics. Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Thailand here

You can find EFTA’s objectives in the free trade negotiations with the Kingdom of Thailand here


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