Thailand and Turkey have entered into the first round of free trade negotiations with the aim of a two-fold expansion of bilateral trade within three years.
This was disclosed by Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn during a visit to Turkey for trade cooperation between July 19-20.
She said she and her Turkish counterpart Nihat Zeybekci have commenced FTA negotiations in Ankara covering almost a large number of items of Thai products.
She said expectations are that the negotiations will be concluded by the end of 2018 which is the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries.
According to Ms Apiradi, the main goal of the negotiations is to achieve a two-fold increase in trade from the current US$1.2 billion to US$2.4 billion within three years.
She said Thailand wants tariffs to be lowered on agricultural products such as bananas, mangoes and pineapples which Turkey currently imports from tropical South American countries while charging 100-150% in taxes.
Beside this, Thailand also desires to increase exports of its prime high quality products such as air-conditioners, automotive and refrigerator parts, rubber and synthetic fibers.
Turkeys leading exports on the other hand are heavy machinery and associated parts, clothing, mirror glass, crystals, chemicals and jewelry among others.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)