Petchanet Pratruangkrai,The Nation (Thailand),Publication Date : 06-08-2010
Altogether 19 industries have expressed concern to the Thai government over proliferating nontariff barriers under the upcoming Thailand-European Union Free Trade Agreement.
The Commerce Ministry recently held the final round of hearings among the 19 Thai industries that will be affected under this FTA.
Akkarapon Leelajindamai, assistant secretary to the commerce minister and chairman of the ministry’s ThaiEU FTA hearings panel, said local businesses have backed the government’s plan to liberalise trade, services and investment with the EU.
However, they are also afraid the EU will impose more stringent nontariff barriers to obstruct Thai exports.
Issues include food safety standards, environmental standards, labour policies and corporate social responsibility.
To ensure that Thai enterprises can smoothly penetrate the EU’s markets, those industries have called for the government to set up a clear plan for enhancing Thai business competitiveness.
The ministry will also allocate a budget from the FTA Fund to help develop industrial competitiveness under the ThaiEU FTA.
The ministry is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on the FTA to gather concerns from the public sector before passing the results for Cabinet’s consideration on August 10. The event will be held at Muang Thong Thani.