Is Thailand a high income economy
Thailand's most important trading partners after China and Japan are the USA, Hong Kong and Malaysia. In 2015 total exports were $ 214 billion and total imports were $ 202 billion, with a positive trade balance. The volume of trade with Germany in 2016 was just under 10 billion euros. The most important German exports to Thailand were chemical products, machines, electronics and cars. Thai exports to Germany with electronics, data processing, rubber products, food and jewelry generated a significant trade deficit (tourism not included).
The negotiations for a free trade agreement between Europe and Thailand, the Thai-EU-FTA, which were initiated in 2013, are currently explosive. Thailand is under pressure because the Generalized Scheme of Preferences, which provides for lower tariffs for developing countries, expired in 2015. Since then, tariffs on important export products such as processed shrimp have skyrocketed from 7% to 20%. This is a big problem for Thailand's export strategy. However, civil society in Thailand fears that the EU will primarily want to enforce stricter intellectual property rights, which would make it more difficult for the many HIV-positive people to have access to drugs. In a draft leaked to the press, the EU is calling for stricter patent rules, such as the renewal of patents, data exclusivity, but also investment protection clauses that could be used against health policies such as compulsory licenses. However, since the military coup in 2014, negotiations for a free trade agreement have been suspended.
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