Thailand and UK seek a new trade deal

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The UK and Thailand are seeking a new bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) to maintain economic links after Britain’s recent referendum which will see it exit from the European Union.

Thai government data shows that the UK is Thailand’s second largest trading partner in the EU and 19th globally, with around $6.4 billion in trade with Britain in 2015, a fall of 6.1 percent from $6.8 billion the year before.

After a recent visit to the UK in July, Thailand’s Deputy Commerce Minister Suvit Maisincee said the two countries committed to more talks to boost trade and investment. They are apparently considering a new trade deal to ensure Brexit would not affect trade and economic ties between the two countries.

“The FTA should help promote trade and investment growth between the two sides though the UK will exit the EU. The UK is one of our major export markets among EU countries. Thailand will try to ensure market access under the bilateral trade pact with the UK after its exit from the European Union”, Suvit said according to the local newspaper The Nation.

The two countries also agreed to create the Thai-UK Business Leadership Council to improve co-operation in the private sectors and to encourage investment growth and trade. The ceremony to set up the Council was witnessed by Roll-Royce’s International Advisory Board and Thailand’s PTT Plc CEO Tevin Vongvanich.

Thailand will host the first meeting of the new Council later this year.

Suvit said his trip was also an opportunity to encourage Rolls-Royce to move production to Thailand, where the government is trying to tempt businesses to boost the country’s economic prospects, as part of what is being called Thailand 4.0.

SOURCE: The Diplomat.

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