Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D5 / 7 May 2002

Study on an Australia-Thai Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Points to Real Benefits for both Countries

A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and Thailand would deliver significant benefits to both countries, according to a study released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The study, prepared by Australian and Thai officials, was commissioned by the two Governments in July 2001.

According to independent consultants, an FTA would increase Australias GDP by some A$12 billion and Thailands by A$46 billion over a 20 year period.

Trade between the two countries would expand substantially in both the goods and services sector. Australian exports to Thailand of dairy and other agricultural products, pharmaceutical goods, aluminium and large passenger motor vehicles and components are likely to increase.

Australian firms, particularly banking and professional services, would also gain significantly from being able to operate more freely in the Thai market.

Case studies of sectors like automobiles and auto parts, agribusiness and processed food, and services confirm that an FTA would bring substantial improvements in market access, to the benefit of both Australia and Thailand.

An FTA would also lead to an increase in investment flows into both countries.

The study shows that an FTA would provide a framework for improved cooperation in many areas including harmonisation of standards, e-commerce, competition policy, anti-dumping, quarantine and transportation.

The study recommends that both Governments should give close consideration to entering into negotiations to establish an FTA. It has been forwarded to both Governments for consideration.

The study is available from the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/thai_fta/index.html). A limited number of copies of the Executive Summary of the study are available in hard copy from Jane Monico (phone (02) 6261. 3114, fax (02) 6261.3321, or email jane.monico@dfat.gov.au).

Media inquiries: Lyndall Sachs, DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555