Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin Elevates Thailand’s Trade with AANZFTA and Saudi Arabia Partnerships

18 tháng 06. 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is on a mission to supercharge Thailand’s economic ties, pledging to enhance cooperation under the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA). Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke made the announcement after delegates from the Commerce Ministry and the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) participated in the 21st AANZFTA Joint Committee Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, from May 26-31.
With the goal of keeping current markets strong while also seeking new economic partners, Prime Minister Srettha is committed to fostering robust international economic alliances. This initiative aligns with a broader strategy to adapt to global changes and leverage new economic models.

The essence of these efforts lies in an expanded AANZFTA, which is set to be launched this year. This upgraded agreement aims to ease trading restrictions, streamline tax measures, and shore up economic cooperation. Such efforts are expected to provide a significant boost to Thailand’s domestic economy, making it more resilient and competitive on the global stage.

Key agenda items at the meeting included revising tax reduction obligations, improving investment regulations, and creating a comprehensive Rules of Origin handbook. There was also a strong focus on regional collaboration to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and enhance the role of women in business. These discussions underscore a commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth that benefits all sectors of society.

“Prime Minister Srettha sees AANZFTA as a pivotal platform for elevating Thailand’s international trade volumes,” the spokesman noted. This optimistic outlook is backed by statistics from the DTN. From January to April, Australia and New Zealand ranked 7th and 31st among Thailand’s largest trading partners, respectively. During this time, bilateral trade between Thailand and these two nations reached an impressive US$7.1 billion, reflecting a growth of 0.74% from the same period last year.

Specifically, Thailand’s exports to Australia surged by 22%, totaling US$4.1 billion. The primary exports included automobiles, auto parts, air conditioners, and computers and their components. Similarly, exports to New Zealand amounted to US$529 million, marking a 17% increase. The mainstay exports were similar to those sent to Australia, showcasing the consistency and reliability of Thailand’s export sectors.

Meanwhile, there’s more exciting news on the horizon. Saudi Arabia has green-lighted the import of live cattle, sheep, and goats from Thailand. Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai revealed that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has officially given the nod through both Saudi Arabian and Thai foreign ministries.

This new development allows importers and exporters to secure permits for the trade via the Naama Platform of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture. This follows an earlier approval by the Saudi Arabian Food and Drug Authority, which allowed Thai chicken exporters to ship fresh, processed, and cooked chicken to all checkpoints in Saudi Arabia.

Trade relations between Thailand and Saudi Arabia already demonstrate strong numbers. Last year, the trade value between the two countries totaled an impressive US$8.79 billion, with imports from Saudi Arabia accounting for $6.13 billion. For the first four months of this year alone, trade hit $2.59 billion. Although this was a 17% decline year-on-year, Thai exports to Saudi Arabia showed a promising increase of 12%, reaching an estimated US$926 million. In contrast, imports from Saudi Arabia were valued at 66 billion baht, down by 28%.

All these developments collectively weave a vibrant tapestry of growth and collaboration. They highlight Thailand’s ambition to scale new heights in international trade, making the country a critical player in the global economic arena. With this proactive approach, the future looks bright for Thailand’s international trade and economic partnerships, promising a cascade of benefits for its domestic economy and its trading partners across the globe.

Source: Thai News