Thailand and New Zealand have agreed to set a new target of doubling trade by 2020 to further advance their trading relationship.
The agreement was reached when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra paid an official visit to New Zealand on 22-23 March 2013, which marks 57 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The Thai-New Zealand bilateral relationship is underpinned by their Closer Economic Partnership (CEP), in force since 2005, strong people-to-people links, and their close cooperation in the region and internationally.
In a joint statement between Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand and Prime Minister Yingluck, both leaders agreed that in order to achieve the new trade target, Thailand and New Zealand need to continue to develop the provisions of the CEP including on services, government procurement, and the special agricultural safeguards regime (SSG) - in particular the objective of completing a review of the SSG this year. Progress in these areas will help their CEP keep pace with trade arrangements around the region, and will drive further growth in their bilateral trade.
Prime Minister Yingluck invited New Zealand investors to explore business opportunities in Thailand. She expressed appreciation for the recent announcement that Thailand would now be able to export salmon product to New Zealand, and also for New Zealand’s ongoing efforts to advance other Import Health Standards identified as of commercial interest to Thailand.
According to the joint statement, the Joint Framework for Cooperation on the Education Partnership, issued on 22 March 2013 in Auckland, further strengthens the importance of people-to-people linkages and identifies new avenues for cooperation in the area of vocational training. Thailand noted its shortage of skilled vocational workers and welcomed the opportunity to develop new training and education capabilities in this area in cooperation with New Zealand. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed the joint work on qualifications recognition and the current project under the ASEAN Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) in this area.
Prime Minister Yingluck expressed the Thai government’s appreciation for New Zealand assistance with English language capacity building in preparation for ASEAN Economic Community, including the provision of ASEAN scholarships for Thai teachers of English, the Advanced Oral Communications Course, and New Zealand teacher volunteers.
Prime Minister Key acknowledged Thailand’s strategic location and leadership role in ASEAN and on issues of mutual interest in the region. He asserted New Zealand’s on-going commitment to support and engage actively with ASEAN, including through the East Asia Summit, the negotiations on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and a potential 40th anniversary commemorative ASEAN-New Zealand Summit.
Prime Minister Yingluck raised Thailand’s hosting of the 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Chiang Mai during 19-20 May 2013 under the theme “Water Security: Leadership and Commitment, with special focus on Water Disaster Challenges”. Prime Minister Key congratulated Thailand on this initiative.