The Nation Thailand - 18 January 2024
Thailand and EFTA expect to wrap up free trade agreement by year-end
By Napat Kongsawad
Both parties are determined to have the deal finalised by the end of the year.
Officials from the EFTA, comprising Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, last met with Thai delegates in November, concluding the seventh round of talks. In 2022, bilateral trade between Thailand and EFTA member nations exceeded $3.5 billion.
Negotiations between the EFTA and Thailand first began in 2005 but halted a year later, before being revived again in 2022.
According to EFTA, electronic machinery and parts for clocks and watches ranked among Thailand’s top exports to member countries.
“Thailand is very competitive,” said Stephen Hofer, chief investment strategist at LGT Bank Asia, “Thailand has moved into car production, durable goods...and really moved up the value chain.”
Meanwhile, Srettha also met with executives from Swiss conglomerate Nestle to discuss further investment in the country. He cited Nestle’s case as a potential beneficiary from a bilateral free trade agreement.