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European Union and Thailand to Resume Free Trade Talks

The European Union intends to resume trade negotiations with Thailand on a free trade agreement (FTA). European Union council said in a statement after suspending trade talks after the military coup in 2014.

In March, Thailand held general elections where pro-army coalitions formed the government officially ending the five-year military rule. At this point, the Council is considering it appropriate for the EU to move towards broadening its engagement in Thailand.

Efforts towards the engagement partly include signing a Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA). The PCA aimed at closer economic and political ties with Thailand. Another effort will be towards resuming trade negotiations with South Asia- the second-largest economy.

The Council also stressed the importance of resuming trade talks on an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

According to the European Commission, trade between the European Union and Thailand was valued at about 38 billion euros ($42 billion) in 2018.

The European Union is Thailand’s third-largest export market. For example, Thailand sells goods and services worth 22.9 billion euros, mainly machinery and transport equipment.

After the 2014 coup when the Military overthrew a civilian government, the European Union kept its relations with Thailand under review. Plus, the European Union also put on hold the signing of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the FTA.

In 2017, the European Union resumed political contract with Thailand.

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The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.6% by 0709 GMT with some British banks leading gains.

The FTSE 250 (FTMC) – the UK-focused midcap gained 0.8%, while Dubin’s ISEQ rose 1.5%.

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Recruiter Hays Plc (L:HAYS) jumped 5.5% and was the biggest gainer on the benchmark index, after the company reported flat first-quarter net fees as strong hiring in the United States and China offset a drop in the United Kingdom. [L3N2701K6]

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