EU Scales Back Ties With Thailand; Bloc Will Put Signing of Political Pact on Hold, Suspend Official Visits After Coup

EU Scales Back Ties With Thailand

Bloc Will Put Signing of Political Pact on Hold, Suspend Official Visits After Coup


June 23, 2014 2:58 p.m. ET

LUXEMBOURG—The European Union will scale back political ties with Thailand following the recent coup, putting on hold the signing of a political pact and suspending official visits, the bloc said Monday.

At a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg, the EU also signaled it will freeze talks on a possible trade deal and said it could announce further penalties if the situation in Thailand deteriorates.

In a statement, the foreign ministers expressed “extreme concern” about the recent developments. The bloc urged Thailand’s new authorities to release political detainees and to refrain from further arrests and remove censorship.

“Fully functioning democratic institutions must be brought back to ensure the protection and welfare of all citizens,” the EU said.

Thailand’s army chief announced last month that the military had taken power, two days after the army declared martial law amid a political conflict between supporters and opponents of ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Last November, the EU gave initial approval to a political agreement with Thailand that also could have paved the way for a new trade accord. Negotiations on a trade deal had already started.

The foreign ministers said “official visits to and from Thailand have been suspended” and that the bloc won’t sign the political agreement—the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement—until “a democratically elected government is in place.”

The bloc said “other agreements will, as appropriate, be affected.” Member states have started reviewing their military ties with Thailand, the EU said. An official said no dates are being considered for resuming trade talks.

“The EU will keep its relations with Thailand under review and will consider further possible measures, depending on circumstances,” the bloc said.

The EU is the second-biggest investor in Thailand and the Asian country’s third-biggest trade partner, with exports and imports valued at almost €30 billion, or about $41 billion, according to the most recent annual figures.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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