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Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA)

Overview

Thailand is one of Australia’s most important markets in South East Asia.

The Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) came into effect on 1 January 2005. This Agreement ensures greater access to the Thai market for Australian products, enhances prospects for services trade and investment, improves the regulatory and investment environment and promotes increased business mobility.

Under TAFTA, Thailand has agreed to relax a number of its restrictive conditions relating to visas and work permits and to guarantee non-discriminatory treatment of Australian investments in Thailand.

TAFTA will eventually lead to the complete elimination of Thailand’s significant tariffs across all sectors. When the Agreement took effect more than half of Thailand’s 5,000 tariffs – accounting for nearly 80 per cent of Australian exports - were eliminated.

Tariffs that were not immediately eliminated will be phased down, with 95 per cent of all current trade between Australia and Thailand completely tariff free by 2010. In some cases, these tariffs had been up to 200 per cent.

TAFTA has allowed many Australian companies formerly locked out of the Thai market because of high tariffs and quotas to find new export opportunities, particularly in areas such as agriculture, processed food and beverages, mining and automotive products.

Please see the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for comprehensive information on the TAFTA.

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Doing business in Thailand

Before entering the Thai business market, there are a number of factors to take into account including culture, politics and business etiquette.

Austrade can help Australian companies familiarise themselves with local market conditions, as well as assist in developing export opportunities through a range of in-market and Australian-based services.

There is extensive information about doing business in Thailand on this website: please check the Thailand profile under 'Country Profiles'.

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