The EFTA countries and Thailand meet in Borgarnes, Iceland to launch free trade negotiations

Published 20-06-2022
From left to right: Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch - Switzerland, Dominique Hasler - Liechtenstein, Jurin Laksanawisit - Thailand, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir - Iceland, Janicke Andreassen - Norway, Henri Gétaz - EFTA Secretary-General
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Mr Jurin Laksanawisit, met on 20 June 2022 in Borgarnes, Iceland, with the Ministerial Chair and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland Ms Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, as well as the other EFTA Ministers, Ms Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport from Liechtenstein, Ms Janicke Andreassen, State Secretary for Trade and Industry from Norway, and Ms Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs from Switzerland, for the resumption of the EFTA-Thailand free trade agreement negotiations.

The Parties foresee to conclude a broad-based and mutually beneficial free trade agreement covering all areas of trade. The agreement will aim to reflect modern international developments in trade, including in the areas of sustainable development and electronic commerce.

The first round of negotiations will take place on 28-30 June 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.

« EFTA is a group of countries with high potential. It has advanced technology and innovation, and enjoys longstanding friendly relations with Thailand in all dimensions. In recent years, Thailand has been preparing for this negotiation. We listened to the views of all stakeholders, including the public, businesses, academia, farmers and civil society. We found that everyone strongly supports having an FTA with EFTA.” says Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Mr Jurin Laksanawisit.

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

EFTA as a trade partner

With a combined population of over 14.4 million and a combined GDP of more than USD 1.14 trillion, the EFTA States are the world’s thirteenth largest merchandise trader and the eighth largest trader in commercial services, as well as significant actors in foreign direct investment. In addition to the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Swiss-EU bilateral agreements, EFTA has 29 free trade agreements (FTAs) with a total of 40 partner countries worldwide.

Photos from the EFTA-Thailand event in Borgarnes

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