The Nation, Bangkok
May 28, 2004
FREE TRADE: Talks planned with Chile
Thailand will hold talks on forming a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Chile on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) trade ministers meeting on June 4-5.
Chile, the host of the trade ministers meeting this year, had earlier expressed interest in forming an FTA with Thailand.
Apiradi Tantraporn, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said yesterday that Chilean Ambassador to Thailand Luis Alberto Sepulveda had asked Commerce Minister Watana Muangsook earlier this week to task officials with studying the possibility of forming an FTA.
Thailand views Chile with its population of 15 million as having high export potential for Thai goods.
Thailand had a trade surplus with Chile last year, importing US$78.7 million (Bt3.2 billion) worth of goods while exporting $108.6 million worth of products to the country.