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FTA gets junta backing

The National Council for Peace and Order has given the green light to the signing of an agreement to establish the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement next month.

Somkiat Triratpan, deputy director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said last week that Thailand can now join Asean in amending the AANZFTA, which will help facilitate more trade and each country's businessmen.

The amendment will be inked during the Asean-Australia-New Zealand economic ministers meeting in Myanmar.

The members signed the FTA in 2010 and agreed to gradually amend the liberalisation of trade in goods.

The amendment includes new rules of origin to bring the pact in accordance with the latest customs procedure so that companies can retrieve information and trade under the rules.

The amendment also allows enterprises to ask for lower duties under the new rules of origin.

Companies no longer need to state the FOB price of goods if they are not from different origins.

The new rules will help protect trade secrets and will conform to current international trade rules.

Under the pact, trade between Thailand and the members has risen by 66.2 per cent from US$70.44 million in 2009 to $117.06 million last year.

Thailand's trade surplus increased 22.8 per cent to $20.22 million last year.

Exporters reaped benefits from this agreement worth $384.88 million last year, up by 65.9 per cent from 2012, while importers reaped benefits valued at $71.16 million, up by 184 per cent.


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