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Ministry preps mini-FTA with Shenzhen

Bangkok Post - 02 March 2023

Ministry preps mini-FTA with Shenzhen

The Commerce Ministry on Wednesday clinched a memorandum of understanding to form a deeper trade partnership through a mini-free trade agreement (mini-FTA) with Shenzhen in China, aiming to grow trade between Thailand and the southeastern metropolis by 5% to 910 billion baht in 2024.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the pact would be instrumental in helping to drive trade and investment between Thailand and China.

Thailand has seven mini-FTAs: Hainan, China; Kofu, Japan; Telangana, India; Gansu, China; Busan and Gyeonggi, South Korea; and the latest with Shenzhen.

The nation is scheduled to sign similar pacts with Yunnan province in southwest China in April, and later with five states in India. Other potential FTAs could be with cities in England and Pakistan, he said.

"I informed the ministry that large-scale free trade cooperation through FTAs is now adequate. It is time for us to apply deeper and more aggressive policies to promote trade and investment, particularly in provinces and states," said Mr Jurin.

"Some states and provinces in certain countries have larger economies than Thailand. For example, Shenzhen has a GDP almost on par with Thailand."

He said the agreement presents an excellent opportunity for both Thailand and China to increase the value of trade and investment. Shenzhen is the No.3 economic zone in China, behind Shanghai and Beijing.

The city is a strategic hub that connects Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau and is the centre of the Greater Bay Area, a region that combines new businesses, innovation, technology and industrial economies in China.

The pact will play a significant role in increasing trade value between the two countries in the future, said Mr Jurin.

"In 2022, the value of bilateral trade between Thailand and Shenzhen was 868 billion baht. After the mini-FTA is in place, by 2024 bilateral value is expected to rise at least 5% to 910 billion baht," he said.

"This will be an important mechanism to increase the value of trade and investment substantially, helping the economies of both countries."

 Fuente: Bangkok Post