Germany and Thailand Strengthen Trade and Investment Ties

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently held talks in Thailand to discuss trade, investment, and tourism. During the meeting, Germany expressed its commitment to expanding its investment in electric vehicles (EVs) in Thailand, with the goal of establishing the country as an EV regional hub.

The visit marked President Steinmeier’s first trip to Thailand in over two decades, highlighting the long-standing and friendly relations between the two countries, which span 162 years. Germany holds the position of Thailand’s largest trade partner within the European Union (EU), while Thailand ranks as Germany’s third-largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Both leaders agreed to elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership, setting goals for mutual cooperation and benefit. Germany expressed its readiness to support Thailand’s efforts in renewable energy production, aiming to increase electricity generated from renewables by 50% before 2040. Additionally, Germany is prepared to expand its investment in the EV industry in Thailand, aiming to establish the country as a manufacturing hub in the region.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Srettha engaged with members of the German private sector, discussing investment opportunities and Thailand’s economic potential. The Thai government also highlighted its intent to secure a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU in the coming year, further strengthening economic ties between the two regions.

Efforts to promote travel between the citizens of Thailand and Germany were also on the agenda, recognizing Germany as a significant source of tourism for Thailand. Last year alone, over 700,000 Germans visited the country. Thailand already offers a visa exemption scheme for Germans, permitting a 30-day stay, and Prime Minister Srettha also requested Germany’s support for Thailand’s FTA negotiations with the EU, allowing Thai tourists to obtain Schengen visas for other Schengen member countries.

The meeting concluded with the announcement of Prime Minister Srettha’s upcoming official visit to Germany in March. This visit will serve as a follow-up to the discussions held in Thailand and act as a means to establish a strategic partnership between the two nations.

As both countries continue to foster closer ties, cooperation in areas such as electric vehicles, clean energy, and circular economy initiatives will be at the forefront of their endeavors. This strengthened partnership holds the promise of mutual benefits for both Germany and Thailand and sets the stage for increased collaboration in the future.

FAQ:

1. What were the main topics discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier?
– The main topics discussed during the meeting included trade, investment, and tourism.

2. What did Germany express its commitment to expanding in Thailand?
– Germany expressed its commitment to expanding its investment in electric vehicles (EVs) in Thailand.

3. What is the goal of Germany’s investment in EVs in Thailand?
– The goal is to establish Thailand as an EV regional hub.

4. How long has it been since President Steinmeier’s last trip to Thailand?
– It has been over two decades since President Steinmeier’s last trip to Thailand.

5. How long have Thailand and Germany had relations?
– Thailand and Germany have had relations for 162 years.

6. What is the current trade partnership between Thailand and Germany?
– Germany is Thailand’s largest trade partner within the European Union (EU), while Thailand ranks as Germany’s third-largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

7. What are the goals of elevating the bilateral relations between Thailand and Germany?
– The goals are to enhance mutual cooperation and benefit.

8. What is Germany’s readiness to support Thailand’s efforts in?
– Germany is ready to support Thailand’s efforts in renewable energy production.

9. What is Thailand’s intent with regards to a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU?
– Thailand intends to secure a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU in the coming year.

10. How is Germany recognized in terms of tourism in Thailand?
– Germany is recognized as a significant source of tourism for Thailand.

11. How many Germans visited Thailand last year?
– Over 700,000 Germans visited Thailand last year.

12. What visa exemptions does Thailand currently offer for Germans?
– Thailand currently offers a visa exemption scheme for Germans, allowing a 30-day stay.

13. What did Prime Minister Srettha request from Germany regarding FTA negotiations with the EU?
– Prime Minister Srettha requested Germany’s support for Thailand’s FTA negotiations with the EU, allowing Thai tourists to obtain Schengen visas for other Schengen member countries.

14. What was announced at the conclusion of the meeting?
– The announcement of Prime Minister Srettha’s upcoming official visit to Germany in March was made.

Definitions:
– EVs: Electric vehicles.
– EU: European Union.
– ASEAN: Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
– Strategic partnership: A close and cooperative relationship between two countries that involves setting goals for mutual cooperation and benefit.
– Renewable energy: Energy obtained from natural resources that can be replenished, such as solar, wind, or hydro power.
– Manufacturing hub: A location with a concentration of manufacturing activities.
– Free trade agreement (FTA): An agreement between two or more countries to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade and facilitate the movement of goods and services between them.
– Visa exemption scheme: A policy that allows certain nationalities to enter a country without the need for a visa for a specified period of time.
– Schengen visa: A visa that allows travel within the Schengen Area, which includes many European countries with no border controls between them.

Suggested related links:
Thai Government Official Website
Bangkok Post: Bilateral Ties with New Areas of Cooperation
DW: Germany’s President Begins Visit to Thailand