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.
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.