EU works to cement trade agreement with ASEAN

European Union officials have met with Thai delegates in Brussels to secure a trade agreement which will cement closer ties with the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) region.

Negotiators have completed the first round of face-to-face talks after proposals for a closer trade relationship were outlined on 6 March 2013. Issues discussed included: trade in goods; rules of origin; intellectual property rights; customs and trade facilitation; technical barriers to trade; public procurement; animal and plant health standards; sustainable development; services and investment protection.

This is one of many trade deals which will secure closer trading ties between the major economic regions of the EU and ASEAN. Last December, the EU concluded a trade deal with Singapore, while negotiations with Malaysia and Vietnam are on-going. This represents the strong engagement of the EU in the ASEAN region, and it is believed that the ultimate objective will be to negotiate a region-to-region agreement with ASEAN in the future.

Thailand is the EU's third-largest trading partner inside ASEAN. Trade between them in 2012 reached nearly €32bn. The EU is also one of the largest investors in Thailand with investment stocks worth more than €14bn in 2011. The next round of negotiations will be held in Thailand from 16-20 September 2013.

TMF Group has offices stationed across both regions where our dedicated accounting, legal and HR and payroll staff can help businesses expand seamlessly across borders. We combine our extensive global resources with unrivalled knowledge of local regulations, cultures and languages to help you achieve your business goals.

 
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