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Thailand and UK forge economic alliance

Thailand and UK forge economic allianceLegacy

Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai and Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston CBE, along with British Ambassador Mark Gooding, engaged in a diplomatic meeting to discuss economic collaboration between the UK and Thailand.

The crux of Thursday’s discussions revolved around fortifying economic ties, amplifying trade relations, and fostering investment opportunities. This pivotal dialogue laid the groundwork for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the upcoming 2nd Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting, scheduled to be hosted by Thailand on May 31.

The MOU aims to cultivate a robust partnership, focusing on strategic sectors such as agriculture, digital innovation, investment, and tourism. Its implementation over the next two to three years is anticipated to streamline regulations, tackle trade obstacles, and bolster import-export ventures, while also priming the terrain for a potential Thailand-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the future.

Of notable interest to the UK is Thailand’s groundbreaking Digital Wallet policy, viewed as a linchpin for economic dynamism. This forward-thinking strategy not only enhances financial flexibility and stimulates domestic expenditure but also nurtures small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and fuels industrial growth, thus fuelling job creation, reported The Nation.

A testament to their burgeoning camaraderie, in 2023, the UK emerged as Thailand’s 22nd largest global trading partner, with a staggering trade value of US$6.740 billion (approximately 245 billion baht). Thailand’s exports to the UK surged to US$4.073 billion, while imports stood at US$2.667 billion.

ORIGINAL STORY: UK Foreign Secretary Cameron elevates trade links in Thailand

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron arrives in Bangkok today in a bid to strengthen trade and economic ties between the politically beleaguered UK and the burgeoning Thailand.

The former British prime minister intends to sign a UK-Thai strategic partnership roadmap on his inaugural visit to the Indo-Pacific region. This roadmap is designed to enhance collaboration on defence, healthcare, and climate initiatives between the two nations.

The 57 year old Lord Cameron expressed his belief that collaboration with Bangkok would yield “jobs and growth back here” in Britain as he embarked on this journey. Following his engagements in Thailand, Cameron is scheduled to proceed to Australia for the annual Australia-UK ministerial consultations (AUKMIN).

Thailand holds significant importance as a key partner for the UK in the Indo-Pacific region, which the UK has prioritised in its foreign policy agenda. Cameron emphasised Thailand’s crucial role in advancing peace and reconciliation in Myanmar, as well as in upholding international law and promoting regional cooperation.

“South East Asia is a commercial powerhouse and Thailand is one of the biggest economies of the lot. Working with countries in this region means jobs and growth back here in the UK.

“Thailand is a founding member of ASEAN and an influential player across the Indo-Pacific region. We will continue to work with them to address shared global challenges that affect us all – including the impacts of climate change, rapid technological development, and threats to global health.”

The former UK Prime Minister, who controversially introduced a referendum to leave the EU during his tenure from 2010 to 2016, and earned the nickname “Dodgy Dave” from Labour MP Dennis Skinner due to his handling of the Panama Papers scandal, is set to highlight UK-Thailand defence cooperation during his visit to a military airbase. Here, he will inspect fighter jets assembled with British components, contributing over £300 million (13.7 billion baht) to the UK economy through exports.

Additionally, Cameron will unveil the launch of a fund worth up to £6 million (275 million baht) aimed at promoting green growth in Thailand, focusing on sustainable transport and carbon pricing initiatives.

The former Tory leader will collaborate with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to establish a UK-Thailand strategic partnership roadmap, as announced by the Foreign Office. This roadmap aims to enhance bilateral relations in defence, climate and energy, trade and investment, agriculture, digital technology, health, and education, particularly in anticipation of next year’s 170th anniversary of UK-Thai diplomatic ties.

Following his engagements in Thailand, Cameron will proceed to Australia for the Aukmin summit, reported The Evening Standard.

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