Department of Trade Negotiation consultation on ‘Keeping Pace with the EU’s New Trade Policy and Rules’

Department of Trade Negotiation consultation on ‘Keeping Pace with the EU’s New Trade Policy and Rules’

On 30th August 2022, Mr. Bob Fox, EABC Board Member and Chair of Digital Economy/ICT Working Group spoke, along with other European private sector representatives in Thailand at a seminar on “Keeping Pace with the EU’s New Trade Policy and Rules” organised by Department of Trade Negotiations (Ministry of Commerce) at Peninsula Bangkok.

The EU’s trade-related regulation, including Due Diligence (covering human rights and environment), deforestation-free products, eco-design for sustainable products (circular economy principles), new rules on single-use plastics, European Green Deal (including climate change and CBAM) are generally referred to as being about ‘sustainability’ .Also covered were services liberalisation and procurement.

Many are domestic EU policies either with a potential international trade and investment impact, or which have extra-territorial reach. They would, once fully enacted, have their own effect and force and would be put forward as part of a future Thailand-EU FTA.

The seminar is aimed to raise awareness and understanding of these new trade policies and rules and to gauge support means.

The seminar started with opening remarks from Ms. Chotima lemsawasdikul, Deputy Director General, Department of Trade Negotiations followed by a presentation from Mr. Petros Sourmelis, Head of Trade and Economic Section from EU Delegation and Mr. Laurent Lourdais, First Counsellor (Agriculture, SPS and Environment) on the EU’s new trade policy and rules.

Mr. Bob Fox shared EABCs perspectives and recommendations, together with Mr. Tom Cachet and Dr. Ajaree Tavornmas from TEBA,  Dr. Nilsuwan Leelarasamee from The Federation of Thai Industries & The Subcommittee on Trade Regulations and Multilateralism, Dr. Chanintr Chalisarapong from Board of Trade of Thailand & Thai Tuna Industry Association, Dr. Thitiwut Srimanop from The Federation of Thai SME.

Business in Thailand, whether local or European, have shown general support for the new polices as they are considered to move economies and societies in positive (often essential) directions. Issues such as additional administrative overhead, competitiveness, ease of doing business are necessarily relevant. How the policies can be implemented and supported was part of the consultation.

EABC provided, earlier in 2022, a response as part of the EU’s public consultation on Due Diligence, with such a balanced approach.  EABC’s 2022 European Business Position Paper in its Introduction Chapter (and in its CSI and Energy chapters) provides background.

A Partnership and Co-Operation Agreement (PCA) is to be signed on 9 September 2022,  aimed at closer economic and political ties with Thailand, and resuming trade negotiations for an FTA