Following successful negotiations between Thailand and Chile, a free trade agreement (FTA) which won parliamentary endorsement on March 12, 2013, is ready to be signed on October 3-4 during the Chilean president's official visit to Thailand. Expected to become effective at the end of 2013, this trade agreement will eliminate tariffs on at least 90 percent of all products between the two countries, while the remaining 10 percent will have their tariffs cut gradually over five years.
The Thailand-Chile FTA could serve as great help for Thai producers wanting to make their presence in the Chilean market, as well as a means to heighten our competitiveness and maintain our market share there. Thai manufacturers will also benefit from this agreement because they will be able to import Chilean raw materials at lower costs. Thai products that will likely gain from this FTA include autos and parts, canned seafood, processed food, canned fruit, electrical appliances, rubber and rubber products, plastic resin, cement, gems and apparel.
KResearch forecasts that within five years after the FTA takes effect, Thai-Chilean trade will average around 13 percent growth p.a., doubling in value to USD1.9 billion by 2018, from USD1 billion in 2013. In the near future, Chile will likely become one of our more lucrative trade partners and a major gateway into Latin America for Thai products.
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