EFTA and Thailand moving closer to sealing a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement

Published 02-02-2024
EFTA and Thailand Heads of delegations

The EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – and Thailand met in Bangkok from 30 January to 2 February 2024 for the 8th round of negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

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 Thailand's delegation was led by Director General Chotima Iemsawasdikul from the Department of Trade Negotiations within the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand.

The discussions focused on resolving outstanding matters across various sectors, including trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services, investment, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), trade and sustainable development, government procurement, cooperation and capacity building, trade remedies, legal and horizontal issues and intellectual property rights. Heads of delegation also gathered on several occasions to take stock of the progress made and challenges ahead.

Both sides reported significant advancements and maintained a positive outlook throughout the talks. The next round of negotiations, scheduled for April, aims to further this momentum with anticipation of concluding within the year.

A report of the round will be made available soon.

Economic relations between the EFTA States and Thailand

In 2022, bilateral EFTA–Thailand merchandise trade exceeded USD 3.5 billion. Clocks and watches, fish and crustaceans, and pharmaceutical products were the primary exports from EFTA to Thailand, while electronic machinery, clocks and watch parts, and iron structures were the primary imports from Thailand.

Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Thailand here.

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