Excitingly, the free trade agreement (FTA) bilaterally negotiated between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Thailand is quickly approaching completion. Thailand’s Minister of Commerce, Phumtham Wechayachai, recently briefed the public that the negotiations are estimated to be roughly 80% complete after productive dialogue with UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. Notably, agreements spanning a variety of sectors have been successfully negotiated, such as those relating to food, auto parts, air conditioners, and select agricultural goods. “We are steadily progressing and look forward to tentatively finalizing the negotiations by the end of the year,” commented Phumtham.
Thailand played host to the fourth round of Thai-UAE FTA negotiations, which took place between September 26 and 28. Keen on advancing international trade cooperation, the government endeavours to expedite these negotiations actively. Contemplative committee meetings convened for trade negotiations, led by the Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Auramon Supthaweethum. These meetings, along with those of the sub-committees, focused on five crucial areas: trade in goods, trade remedies, rules of origin, legal and institutional matters, and trade in services and digital trade.
Notably, the panels have achieved preliminary conclusions on a variety of matters. These include intellectual property rights, trade facilitation, customs procedures, investment, technical trade barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and economic cooperation for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
A conducted qualitative study suggests that the Thai-UAE FTA could kindle a significant surge in the Thai GDP. The figures suggest an increase somewhere between 11.1 to 12.4 billion baht (US$318 to 357 million). Correspondingly, exports could potentially see an enhancement in the range of 6.65 to 8.5 billion baht (US$190 to 243 million). Some of the sectors poised to benefit considerably from this agreement include apparel, food, animal hides, textiles, wood, rubber, chemicals, automobiles and auto parts, as well as electronic and electrical appliances, as reported by Bangkok Post.
A few months earlier, Thailand and UAE jointly publicized the inauguration of their pioneering free trade agreement. This FTA primarily strives to simplify and bolster trade, services, and investment between the two nations. Estimates suggest a promising 10% growth in bilateral trade within the first year of the agreement’s implementation.
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