By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE JOINT Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand has urged the government to make a decision on joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership soon.
The JFCCT believes joining the pact would ensure the country’s competitiveness and access to the markets of the United States |and other TPP members, as well |as attracting foreign investment here.
After meeting with Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn yesterday, JFCCT chairman Stanley Kang said Thailand should take steps to join the TPP during its second stage of negotiation after the country missed the opportunity to join the pact in the first stage.
“The TPP includes the US, which is one of the biggest markets for Thai exports. As investors and manufacturers in the country, foreign [interests] would like the Thai government to announce clearly [its intention on] the TPP, as well as proceeding on other free-trade agreements,” Kang said.
He said that despite foreseeing gloomy global economic growth this year, Thailand and other Asean countries were still major targets for foreigners’ investment.
To facilitate more foreign investment here, the JFCCT urged the government to allow the country to capitalise on trade and investment in Asean by streamlining complicated laws and regulations, and facilitate the free movement of goods and people in Asean, in particular across borders.
Moreover, in this era of globalisation, the government should focus on a policy of openness, such as reducing red tape to facilitate more trade and investment in the country.
The government should further relax the Foreign Business Act after it has released some businesses from the protection list, he added.
Apiradi said the government was considering joining the TPP, but needed to be sure about its impacts and find remedial measures for all involved.
To promote Thailand as a centre of foreign investment, the government is also amending laws and adjusting some regulations to facilitate investment in the country.
The JFCCT has also urged Thailand to streamline the trading system in the border provinces.
The JFCCT currently has |33 members from various |foreign chambers of commerce in Thailand.