TWN Info Service on Free
16 October 2006
THAI NEWS Agency
October 14, 2006
Minister Krikkrai outlines FTA policy
Commerce Minister Krirkkrai Jirapaet said that free trade area (FTA)
agreements with Australia and New Zealand are based on mutual benefit,
and held them up as example for future negotiations with the US and
Mr Krirkkrai said that the FTAs signed with the two Pacific countries
by the former government of prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra were based
on equal benefits.
The FTA agreements signed with China and India, also by the previous
administration, were aimed at reducing tariffs, he said. For example,
the FTA signed with China is involved in reducing tariffs on vegetables
and fruit while it reduces tariffs on 83 items of goods traded between
Thailand and India.
Instructions have been given to the Ministry's Trade Negotiations Department
that any FTAs initiated by the previous government which are pending
signing and which proved genuinely useful to the people would
continue to be supported, he said.
In addition, he noted that concerned parties will be invited to briefings
on upcoming FTA negotiations with Japan and the United States as they
must also be approved by the National Legislative Assembly.
On the regional level, Thailand must cooperate with other members of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in order to enlarge the markets,
Pridiyathorn Devakula, deputy prime minister and finance minister, is
scheduled to present revised policies to the Commerce Ministry on Monday.
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