The agreement, which replaces a similar agreement that had to be renegotiated following the United Kingdom’s departure from the economic bloc on Jan 1, 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 which 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 B1.4 trillion each year, in which Thailand imported products worth B656 billion from the EU per year and exported products worth B744bn per year to the EU.