Exploratory Meeting on the Establishment of the Bhutan-Thailand PTA

The Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan and the Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Commerce, Government of the Kingdom of Thailand attended an exploratory meeting on the establishment of the Bhutan-Thailand Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) on 21 November 2022 in Thimphu, Bhutan. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Mr. Sonam Tenzin, Director General, Department of Trade and the Thai delegation was led by Mrs. Auramon Supthaweethum, Director General, Department of Trade Negotiations. The 14 member Thai delegation is in the country for the meeting and will also carry out a market/feasibility study during their visit.

The exploratory meeting hosted by the Department of Trade reviewed the bilateral economic and trade progress between Bhutan and Thailand; deliberated on the draft text of the PTA proposed by Bhutan; exchanged information on the domestic procedures for commencement and conclusion of PTA negotiations and finalized a time bound work plan to guide both sides to expedite the process of negotiations on the PTA.

The Thai Delegation also called on the Hon’ble Minister for Economic Affairs in the afternoon of November 21 and updated on the outcome of the exploratory meeting. The Hon’ble Minister and the Thai delegation discussed various matters of mutual interest to enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. In particular, the Minister mentioned that one of the immediate steps that could be undertaken was in promoting and exporting select high value Bhutanese agricultural products such as asparagus, mushrooms etc to the Thai market which do not require Sanitary and Phytosanitary certifications. The Thai side assured full support and cooperation to ensure that the products identified by the Bhutan side would be facilitated through market linkages and tie ups and that these could be facilitated through the Bhutan Embassy in Thailand.