Bangkok Post | 9 February 2023
Thailand, UAE to form closer trade ties
by PHUSADEE ARUNMAS
Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to form a
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and establish a
Joint Business Council to expand bilateral trade and investment
cooperation, with the goal of increasing Thai exports to 30 billion baht this
Speaking on Tuesday after leading a group of public and private sector
executives in a discussion with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade
Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said
it was a historic day for the two countries to agree on a mechanism to
enhance economic cooperation.
The two nations aim to complete the details of the planned agreement
within six months.
According to Mr Jurin, the CEPA will help expand bilateral trade,
investment and economic cooperation in terms of both depth and breadth.
Thai and UAE business sectors also signed a memorandum of
understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to set up a Joint Business Council to
move forward with trade, investment and economic cooperation.
Thai businesses in the logistics and transport sector also signed an MoU
yesterday on logistics cooperation with Dubai World, a global air freight
network with 78 ports and 240 airports around the world.
Mr Jurin said he asked UAE investors to invest in Thailand and make the
best use of privileges offered by Thailand through free trade agreements
Thailand has 14 FTAs in place with 18 countries, including the Regional
Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which took effect at the start of
He said the Commerce Ministry is aiming for export growth of 25% to the
UAE this year, a total of 148 billion baht, up from 118 billion last year.
Important Thai exports to the UAE include automobiles, air conditioners,
jewellery, wood and wooden products, rubber products, canned and
processed seafood, and aluminium products.
Significant imports from the UAE include crude oil, refined oil, natural
gas, metal ores, metal scraps and products, jewellery and gems, silver bars
and gold, chemicals, iron, steel and steel products, tobacco products,
machinery and components, and metal products.
The UAE economy is the fifth-largest in the region after Iran, Saudi
Arabia, Turkey and Israel, with a GDP of US$503 billion in 2022.
Its economy is heavily reliant on revenue from petroleum and natural gas,
with such exports contributing 30% of GDP.