The UK and Thailand held on 21 June the first Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO), which offers a significant new opportunity to improve bilateral trade, including by addressing trade barriers affecting business activity in both countries.
The UK Minister of State for Trade Policy, Penny Mordaunt, and Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Jurin Laksanawisit, held the first meeting of the JETCO in London and discussed ways of increasing bilateral trade and committing to an ambitious trading relationship, the UK government said in a statement.
The ministers signed off a programme of work, including Government-to-Government and Government-to-Business activity, to advance opportunities to increase trade over the next 12-18 months.
The ministers also agreed to develop an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) between the two countries in the future, which could be a first step in laying the foundations for a potential free trade agreement (FTA).
The UK and Thailand will aim to grow trade in digital services, agriculture, the food and drinks sector, healthcare, and financial services, as well as boost trade promotion and activities.
Last year, the value of trade between Thailand and the UK stood at £4.8 billion for goods and services. Thailand was the UK’s 40th largest trading partner, accounting for 0.4 percent of total UK trade. The UK, for its part, was Thailand’s 22nd largest trading partner last year, accounting for 1.0 percent of total Thai trade. The UK was the 25th largest importer to Thailand accounting for 0.8 percent of Thai imports.
“The new UK-Thailand JETCO adds extra emphasis to the UK’s deepening relationships across the wider Asia Pacific region. As a new ASEAN Dialogue Partner, the UK is committed to further enhancing engagement with the region, through both multilateral and bilateral forums, including those with Thailand,” the UK government said.