brexit impact on thailand not concerned gov, sleeping asian man

The Thai government is positive about Brexit, as officials insist that Britain’s exit from the European Union is unlikely to negatively affect any trade talks Thailand has with the EU. In fact, the Brexit will release a lot of restrictions for its trade policies with Southeast Asian countries. If Britain wanted to initiate a free bilateral trade pact with Thailand, the talks could happen instantly without waiting for a green light from EU commissioners, said Sirinart Chaimun, Director General of the Trade Negotiations Department.

Negotiations for a Thai-EU FTA were formally launched on March 6, 2013. Currently, EU commissioners were reluctant to hold any talks with Thailand until the country’s new constitution is in place. These talks were suspended following Thailand’s 2014 military coup. In June 2015, the EU said it would delay signing an agreement on closer economic and political ties, due to Thailand’s political unrest.

The Brexit will release a lot of restrictions for its trade policies with Southeast Asian countries.

In 2015, Thailand’s exports to the 28 EU countries were just under $22 billion, down 6% from 2014. Shipments to Britain were worth $4 billion. Shipments to the EU contributed to 9% of Thailand’s total export value. The numbers seem to suggest that if anything, Thailand’s own political instability has more of an impact on the country’s international trade, more than Brexit itself.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 27. Read the full article here.

 the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement

Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Source:

India and Thailand have outlined a road map for cooperation in areas spanning defense and maritime security in efforts to increase trade and economic interaction between the two countries. Both sides have agreed to speedily conclude the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement and bilateral investment treaty, and also implementing an infrastructure project linking Thailand and India on a fast track (like the Asian Trilateral Highway which links Thailand to Myanmar).

Thailand’s physical proximity to India has allowed Prime Ministers Prayut and Narendra to forge a close partnership as they share similar regional goals and interests. Prime Minister Narenda’s “Act East’ policy creates a greater focus on India’s interaction with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. Prime Minister Prayut’s visit to India comes amid tensions between China and several Southeast Asian nations over rival maritime boundary claims in the South China Sea.

There are ample avenues for greater manufacturing and investment linkages. We see a particular synergy between Thai strengths in infrastructure, particularly tourism infrastructure, and India’s priorities in this field- Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement will enhance the safety and security of navigation in the Indian Ocean and also extend to an anti-piracy cooperation and coast guard cooperation.

In terms of trade opportunities, both countries agreed to encourage their businesses to invest in the other country. This leaves a lot of room open for bilateral opportunities and potential for cross border trade. The key idea of this partnership was to link India’s underdeveloped north-east to Southeast Asia with the goal of boosting economic growth. This is yet another interesting trade agreement between Southeast Asia and a neighboring country, one which should boost the region’s capacity for development.

A version of this appeared in Live Mint on June 18. Read the full article here.