Thailand set to expedite FTA negotiations with Sri Lanka
Thailand has determined to accelerate negotiations on a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka, aiming to finish the talks by the beginning of 2024.
According to Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, during the third round of FTA talks held during Jan 9-10 in Colombo in Sri Lanka after four long years , the two countries agreed on a timeframe to conclude the negotiations by the beginning of 2024.
The third round of negotiations was supposed to take place in 2018, but the discussions were put on hold for four years due to the pandemic and the restructuring of Sri Lanka’s negotiations-related agencies.
According to Mrs Auramon, during the third round of talks the trade negotiating committees of the two nations focused on rules on bilateral trade in goods and services, rules of origin, investment, customs procedures, and trade facilitation.
In addition, the meeting updated the negotiation plans and set a timeframe to conclude the talks within 1-2 years.
Thailand has successfully concluded the second free trade area (FTA) negotiations with Sri Lanka recently in a bid to strengthen the economic partnership between the two countries, according to the Department of Trade…
A team from Thailand had arrived in Sri Lanka for talks on a free trade agreement which is planned to be implemented by the first quarter of 2024, the President’s office said.
The delegation headed by Auramon Supthaweethum, Director General of the Department of Trade Negotiations of Thailand held talks with Sri Lanka officials on January 09 and 10.
The talks dealt with trade in goods and services, investment rules, customs co-operation and trade facilitation and economic co-operation.
In 2021 Sri Lanka had exported US$59 million worth of goods to Thailand and its imports increased to $355 million.
Between January and November last year, the value of Thai-Sri Lankan trade stood at US$334.31 million (about 11.2 billion baht), Bangkok Post reported.
Thailand exported goods worth US$253 million to Sri Lanka, such as natural rubber, clothes, gems, ornaments, plastic pellets, machines and their parts.
Meanwhile, Thailand imported goods worth US$ 81.31 million from Sri Lanka, such as gems, diamonds, machine parts, clothes, plants and its products and chemicals, it added.
.A trade negotiations committee under President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office, the Foreign Ministry, Trade and Food Security Ministry, the Trade and Investment Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Commerce represented Sri Lanka at negotiations.
The Thailand FTA was a first step to join the RCEP trade agreement and a step towards strengthening traditional ties with Thailand, the President’s office said.