In preparation for the fourth round of negotiations for the Thai-EU free-trade agreement that were held from 8th-10th April, the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) held a stakeholder consultative session on 2nd April at the Ministry of Commerce to gather opinions for on the Thai negotiating position. TEBA joined this session to put forward the views of its members for consideration.
Due to Thailand only having a caretaker government in the run up to elections, the fourth round was more of a technical discussion with no legally binding negotiations.
Dr. Olarn, Thailand’s chief negotiator, stated that the position on TRIPS+, ISDS, investment protection and health concerns have not changed from previous positions. In regard to the duty-drawback clause, the DTN informed that the EU has claimed that it is a standard clause; however, the Thai position is firm that it cannot accept it. The FTI says that the impact of the duty-drawback clause on the automotive supply chain would be enormous.