The agreement, which is currently being negotiated in Brussels, reflects the growing business relationship between the UK and Thailand and could present UK businesses with better access to food, technology and innovation markets in Asia.
Speaking from the Viv Asia gri-technology trade show in Bangkok where he is leading a delegation of over 30 UK companies, David Heath, the Food and Farming Minister said:
An EU-Thailand trade agreement presents great opportunities for British businesses such as those here at Viv Asia to offer the latest technology, innovation and know-how to companies in Thailand and other countries in the region.
Thailand and the UK are both food producing, and food loving nations. I hope the exchange of ideas here will lead to new, productive collaborations between UK and Thai agri-business companies, as well as companies from elsewhere in south east Asia.
British companies hoping to increase their trade at the event and open up new export markets include ACMC, who have established pig farms in both Thailand and Cambodia ,and veterinary suppliers such as Meriden Animal Health, who are about to sign a new distribution contract with Thai company LIC Agrotech Co Ltd at the event.
Chris Jackson from the British Pig Association said:
I’m delighted that the Food and Farming Minister is attending Viv Asia, which I feel is the most important event for my industry in the world. I am so pleased that he is supporting the pig industry and advances in genetics which will help to meet the enormous growth in the demand for pork worldwide whilst reducing the environmental impact of increased production. Britain is the world leader in pig genetics and will have a strong presence at the show.
The UK currently exports £80.6m worth of food and drink to Thailand. The British Government is keen to help UK businesses wanting to export more abroad and is supporting initiatives such as “Open to Export”. This free online forum has been designed for the UK business community to share best-practice, knowledge and bespoke advice on exports so they can successfully enter new markets and operate overseas.