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FTA talks with S Korea set to start

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Bangkok Post - 07 July 2024

FTA talks with S Korea set to start
By Phusadee Arunmas

Thailand will host the first round of talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea from Tuesday until Thursday in Bangkok, according to the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN).

Both countries agreed on March 26 to move forward with the Korea-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement, said Chotima Iemsawasdikul, director-general of the DTN.

On March 28, both sides acknowledged the FTA’s terms of reference (ToR) for further negotiation, with Thailand agreeing to host the first round in Bangkok, she said.

The KTEPA will build on two previous FTAs involving both Thailand and South Korea and other countries — the Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the DTN director-general said.

"The new bilateral FTA is hoped to help enhance Thailand’s competitiveness when it comes to attracting more large companies and startups from South Korea to come to invest in Thailand," she said.

"Among the target groups of South Korean businesses Thailand now intends to woo are electric vehicle makers, EV parts makers and information technology companies," Ms Chotima said.

While the a joint main committee will be overseeing the overall progress of the negotiation process, a total of 13 joint sub-committees will discuss in detail the different areas of the FTA, including trade of goods, trade remedies, origin of goods and customs and trade facilitation, she said.

Last year, South Korea was Thailand’s 12th largest trade partner with both nations recording UScopy4.73 billion (537 billion baht) in total trade value between them. Thailand exported goods worth $6.07 billion, while South Korea exported $8.66 billion worth of goods.

In the first five months of this year, the trade value between Thailand and South Korea was $6.30 billion, a 2.48% drop when compared to the same period last year, Ms Chotima said.

 source: Bangkok Post