Thailand Signs Pre-Brexit Deal With European Union

Brexit

Thailand and the European Union (EU) have signed a new tariff rate quota deal, under which a predetermined number of the kingdom’s goods can be exported to the bloc at pre-Brexit tax rates.

The agreement, which replaces a similar agreement that had to be renegotiated following the United Kingdom’s departure from the economic bloc, will come into force next month.

Pimchanok Pitfield, Thailand’s permanent representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO), said she signed the agreement with José Fernando Costa Pereira, Portugal’s ambassador and permanent representative to the EU’s Political and Security Committee (PSC) in Brussels, Belgium recently.

“Products covered in the agreement include rice, poultry, and fishery products, which Thailand will still be able to export to the EU with the same trade privileges extended before Brexit,” she said.

This agreement, however, only deals with quotas for goods that had been regulated under a previous agreement. Export duty reductions will be sought in separate trade negotiations which will be held between Thailand and the EU, as well as the United Kingdom, she said.

The Commerce Ministry will negotiate for higher quotas and lower duty rates for agricultural and fishery product exports from Thailand to the EU and Britain, she said.

Since 2019, the Department of Foreign Trade has been acting as Thailand’s main negotiating body in talks with both the EU and Britain, in a bid to, at the very least, secure the same export quotas and privileges which Thailand used to receive from both parties before Brexit, she said.

Between 2017 and last year, the value of two-way trade between Thailand and the EU had averaged between 1.4 trillion baht each year, in which Thailand imported products worth 656 billion baht from the EU per year and exported products worth 744 billion baht per year to the EU.