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Economy September 21, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

PM PRAYUT HEADS BID TO REVIVE FTA TALKS



Representatives from the EU-Asean Business Council (EU-ABC) yesterday spoke with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha about Asean-EU and Thailand-EU free trade agreements (FTAs) after years of suspension.

Kobsak Pootrakul, minister to Prime Minister’s Office, said after the meeting that the discussions aimed to restart negotiations on Asean-EU and Thailand-EU FTAs and both sides agreed to resume negotiations for the mutual benefits of Asean and EU members. 

Next year, Thailand will host the Asean Summit and at least two European leaders - French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May -have agreed to attend the summit.

In mid-October, Prayut will visit Germany to encourage German investors to invest in Thailand. 

Based on a recent survey, over 98 per cent of EU investors wanted an Asean-EU FTA, while most identified Thailand as the first priority among Asean countries where EU should have a FTA due to business opportunity and Thai economic growth, Kobsak said. 

German banks, insurance firms, pharmaceutical firms and automakers are most interested in investing in Thailand, Kobsak said.

To facilitate business , Kobsak said that Thailand will expedite its plan together with the national reform committee on investment laws. Meanwhile, the Board of Investment will ease regulations and will amend no less than 1,000 laws in the next three months.