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ResourcesCorporate and Tax AdvisoryThailand Corporate LawCould We Soon See a Thai-British Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

Could We Soon See a Thai-British Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the possibility of a Thai-UK Free Trade Agreement, also called an FTA.

In a recent article from the Thai Examiner, that is, the article was titled: Thai Trade Negotiators Review a New Thai-UK Trading Relationship and Possible Free Trade Deal after 2020. Quoting directly and this is actually from February of 2020: "Indications suggest that the United Kingdom will move to create its own trading regulations and standards which may be less political and more pragmatic than those of the European Union. This could be to Thailand's advantage as a bilateral deal will be easier to confirm and more commercially focused."  

I am not trying to get political with this video but it is my understanding and I am definitely not an expert on this topic, it is my understanding the UK is sort of concluding the overall Brexit or lack thereof deal associated with the United Kingdom's leaving from the EU. As such, it is looking like the United Kingdom is looking around internationally to make bilateral commercial agreements. Part and parcel of that, that looking I should say, is here in Thailand and they are definitely I think are at least from what I have read even recently as of today, there are still moves afoot to be looking at some kind of Free Trade Agreement. It is interesting that they are talking about the commercial nature of this and the more focused nature of a bilateral relationship because I can say from personal experience that that is certainly the scope and scale of the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. 

For those unaware, it is very much a bilateral agreement. It is rather old, it goes back to the 60s, or at least this iteration. It goes back more than 140 odd years I believe, maybe 175 years with respect to the overall American-Thai relationship and the commerce and navigation treaties etc. I am not going to get into all the history of that. Long story short, the provisions of the US-Thai Treaty of Amity are definitely more commercially focused. It seems to be very much in line with what they are talking about here with the notion of and again I urge folks to check out for that article, there is a lot more in there, a lot more detail. Thai Examiner tends to write really lengthy and quite insightful articles. 

The long story short when it comes to this video is I could definitely see a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Thailand being much more akin perhaps to the Amity Treaty in that it is commercially focused, it is narrowly focused to the bilateral relationship, much the same way the American-Thai Treaty is very focused on just American and Thai matters and it is commercial. As we have noted in this video it is quite a boon to Americans doing business here in the Kingdom because unlike other nationalities, American citizens can be granted national treatment when doing business in Thailand especially for companies which can be virtually 100% or 100% American owned notwithstanding the provisions of the Foreign Business Act. 

So the UK in this case, if they ended up with a Free Trade Agreement that looks similar to the already existing Australian agreement or the agreement that exists between the Americans and Thailand, that could be quite advantageous for British nationals wishing to do business here in the Kingdom of Thailand.