The MoU was signed by Lee Gae-youl, head of Global Trade Department and executive director, Gyeonggi Business and Science Accelerator (GBSA), and Phusit Rattanakul Sereeruengrit, director-general at Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion.
The ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, Commerce deputy permanent secretary Keerati Rushchano, and Korean Ambassador to Thailand Moon Seoung-hyun.
“Under the MoU with GBSA, both parties will seek to minimise trade obstacles and locate new opportunities for economic cooperation,” Jurin said. He added that the MoU will serve as a mini-free trade agreement between Thailand and the South Korean province, and will be the sixth mini-FTA that the ministry has signed with three countries to promote international trade and investment.
Five previous mini-FTAs were with China’s Hainan and Gansu provinces, India’s Telangana state, Japan’s Kofu city, and South Korea’s Pusan city.
Currently Thailand has 14 full FTAs with 18 countries worldwide. Jurin said his ministry is targeting more FTAs in the coming years.
Jurin added that Gyeonggi has the highest GDP among South Korean provinces and is considered the country’s Silicon Valley due to the advanced IT industry, which will be greatly beneficial to Thailand’s small and medium-sized enterprises.
Trade volume between Thailand and Gyeonggi in 2021 amounted to US$3.2 billion, while this year the trade volume in seven months has already surpassed $2 billion.
Ambassador Moon Seoung-hyun added that to further promote bilateral trade between the two countries, South Korea will organise “G-Fair Korea 2022” in Bangkok on Wednesday and Thursday in a bid to find Thai business partners and suppliers for South Korean entrepreneurs and vice versa. He also hoped that the mini-FTA would bring about more business cooperation, especially in electronics and soft power industries, and that it could be incorporated into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership of which both Thailand and South Korea are members.
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