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    Thailand, Turkey finalizing free trade agreement

    Thailand and Turkey have enjoyed bilateral relations for 61 years but are now focusing on a free trade agreement (FTA), the Thai ambassador said Thursday.

    Addressing a ceremony in the Turkish capital Ankara, Phantipha Iamsudha Ekarohit said the two countries hope to conclude the FTA by 2020.

    “The two countries are collaborating to further strengthen and enhance these [bilateral] ties in all potential areas,” she said.

    On Dec. 5, Thailand celebrated the birthday of late Thai King Bhumbibol Adulyadej, National Day and Father’s Day.

    Speaking on the occasion, Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal said that Turkey and Thailand are the “hubs of tourism”.

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    “There is a lot of potential in the tourism sector where the two countries can cooperate,” Onal said, adding direct Turkish Airlines flights to Thailand will help realize this potential.

    Referring to the “rise of Thailand” in Asia, Onal said that Thailand is an important partner for Turkey in the region.

    “We have a productive mechanism with Thailand at multi-lateral forums like Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) too,” he added.

    He said the FTA will boost the existing trade volume of $1.5 billion.

    “Turkish companies are already in Thailand and we wish to see Thai investments in Turkey too,” he said.

    On the occasion, a colorful fashion show designed and curated by Turkish fashion designer Ahmet Ozceyhan was also held.

    Colorful Thai-Turk designer clothes were displayed by participants of the two countries.

    The embassy will host a Thai food festival in collaboration with Ankara Grand hotel later this week.

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