Thursday 30 May 2002 / MVT051/2002
PMs Give Green Light to Begin Australia / Thailand Trade Negotiations
The first stage of formal trade negotiations between Australia and
Thailand will begin tomorrow when Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile
meets with his Thai counterpart Dr Adisai Bodharamik at the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting in Puerto
Mr Vaile said the announcement in Canberra earlier today by Prime
Minister Howard and visiting Thai Prime Minister Thaksin has given
the green light to begin formal discussions that will build closer
economic relations between Australia and Thailand.
“The Prime Ministers of Australia and Thailand have agreed that the
closer economic relations trade agreement between our two countries
will be as comprehensive as possible,” Mr Vaile said.
“Tomorrow I will take the opportunity to hold initial talks with
“We will discuss the way ahead for our trade agreement, which will
extend beyond liberalisation of trade in goods and services and will
promote cooperation in other areas affecting trade and investment.
“Australia and Thailand have great potential to improve the business
environment by not only removing tariff and services barriers but
also by addressing issues such as standards, intellectual property,
competition policy, customs, tourism and education.”
Today’s prime ministerial announcement followed completion of a joint
scoping study, released earlier this month, on the feasibility of
a bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries. The study
concluded that an ‘FTA plus’ agreement would bring significant economic
benefits to both countries.
“We envisage that an FTA with Thailand will be a cutting edge agreement
that will significantly increase market access and opportunities for
Australian exporters. This trade agreement will assist and complement
our multilateral and regional trade liberalisation efforts.
“Australia stands to gain from improved access in areas like agriculture,
pharmaceuticals, aluminium products and large passenger motor vehicles
“Access into Thailand for Australian services will also improve and
investment flows will increase,” Mr Vaile said.
Australia and Thailand already have a close relationship, with two-way
trade worth about $A5 billion annually. Thailand is Australia’s 14th
largest trading partner.
Mr Vaile said industry groups, state governments and other stakeholders
would be consulted in the course of Australia Thailand trade negotiations.
Media Contact: Nicole Guihot (Australia) +61 (0)2 6277 7420
Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:01:53 EST