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Thailand-EU FTA: Visa-Free Access and Economic Growth on the Horizon

Published on: May 13, 2024

Thailand-EU FTA: Visa-Free Access and Economic Growth on the Horizon

Thailand and the European Union (EU) are on the cusp of a significant agreement that promises to reshape economic ties and enhance connectivity between the two regions. Under the leadership of Prime Minister’s Office Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee, Thailand aims to secure visa-free access for its citizens to Schengen countries while advancing negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU.

Negotiations and Progress:

FTA talks between Thailand and the EU commenced in September, with subsequent rounds held in Brussels and Bangkok. Minister Sangmanee's proactive approach underscores the economic benefits anticipated from the FTA, which is poised to stimulate growth and foster collaboration across various sectors.

Benefits of Visa-Free Access:

Thailand's push for visa-free access to the Schengen zone reflects its commitment to promoting people-to-people connectivity and facilitating smoother travel for its citizens. Such access not only streamlines tourism but also opens doors for business opportunities and cultural exchange between Thailand and EU member states.

Longstanding Partnership and Cooperation:

The Thailand-EU relationship spans six decades and encompasses cooperation in areas such as human rights, sustainable development, and climate change. Both parties are in the final stages of ratifying the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signaling a deepening commitment to mutual cooperation and shared values.

Bilateral Trade and Investment:

Bilateral trade between Thailand and the EU stands at a remarkable 1 billion euros per week, underscoring the robust economic ties between the two entities. Efforts to finalize the FTA aim to further boost trade figures and promote investment, with the EU emerging as a key investor in Thailand, contributing significantly to job creation.

Tourism and People-to-People Relationships:

The EU ranks second only to China in terms of tourist arrivals in Thailand, highlighting the strong people-to-people relationships between the two regions. Visa-free access is poised to bolster tourism further, enriching cultural exchanges and promoting mutual understanding.

Support for Regional Stability:

The EU has voiced support for Thailand's efforts to address regional challenges, including armed conflicts in Myanmar and illegal fishing. This collaborative approach underscores the shared commitment to regional stability and cooperation.


As talks progress and cooperation strengthens, Thailand and the EU are gearing up for a big economic boost. The move towards visa-free travel and the advancement of the FTA mean easier trade and more opportunities for businesses. This partnership isn't just about politics; it's about making it simpler for Thai companies to do business with European partners, which can lead to more jobs and a better economy back home. It's a win-win situation that sets the stage for a brighter future for Thailand.

Source: nationthailand

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