Switzerland and Thailand seek to boost business ties

Keystone / Narong Sangnak

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis concluded on Monday a two-day visit to Thailand. High-level talks focused on boosting bilateral cooperation and the possibility of a free trade agreement.

This content was published on August 2, 2021 - 18:07

Both nations have expressed interest in starting negotiations for a free trade deal, according to his office, with technical talks underway at the level of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Cassis met with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. They discussed cooperation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and human rights in crisis-stricken Myanmar, according to the Swiss foreign ministry.

During his visit, Cassis inaugurated the Swiss-Thai Chamber of Commmerce.

Thailand is Switzerland's second most important trading partner in Southeast Asia, with a trade volume of around CHF10.5 billion $11.6 billion. It is also home to more than 200 companies with links to Switzerland. Some 15,000 Swiss citizens currently live in Thailand.

Humanitarian aid 

Cassis also formally handed over to the Thai authorities the humanitarian aid supplies that Switzerland had sent to Thailand last week. The delivery of about 100 respirators and more than one million antigen tests was Switzerland's response to a surge in Covid-19 cases in Thailand.

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