EU, Thailand begin talks on Free Trade Agreement

March 08, 2013
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BRUSSELS, Belgium – The EU and Thailand announced Wednesday (March 6th) the launch of talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), aimed at boosting annual commerce already worth an estimated 30 billion euros ($39 billion), AFP reported.

  • EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy (right) welcomes Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before a working session at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday (March 6th). The EU and Thailand announced the launch of talks on a Free Trade Agreement seeking to boost annual commerce already worth 30 billion euros ($39 billion). [Georges Gobet/AFP]

    EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy (right) welcomes Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before a working session at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday (March 6th). The EU and Thailand announced the launch of talks on a Free Trade Agreement seeking to boost annual commerce already worth 30 billion euros ($39 billion). [Georges Gobet/AFP]

At a press conference in Brussels, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said her country "hopes for quick conclusions" of the FTA negotiations.

EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso in turn described Thailand as a "central player in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)".

Thailand is perceived as a strategic entry point to Southeast Asia, with Brussels ultimately seeking broader co-operation with countries throughout the region.

After a separate meeting with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Yingluck was praised for efforts to establish peace talks with rebels in the Deep South provinces.

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