By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to announce Thailand’s decision on whether it will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership during a meeting on international economic policy this month, after a study found that the pact would benefit the country, s
He said the Commerce Ministry should propose the results of the Panyapiwat Institute study to the economic committee chaired by the prime minister so it could be announced that Thailand would join the TPP.
“As many traders and investors are looking forward to Thailand’s move on whether to join the TPP, the government will make a clear decision soon,” he said.
The committee is scheduled to meet on April 29.
Somkid said that despite the fact that Thailand would get great benefits from joining the TPP overall, it would result in negative impacts on some sectors.
He called on the Commerce Ministry and relevant government agencies to create an understanding among those groups.
He said that should include the setting up of a working committee to talk with those sectors, such as agriculture and non-government organisations, about things like the trading of farm products and intellectual-property rights for medicines while seeking measures to counter the TPP’s negative impacts.
He urged the ministry to invite experts including former government officials to help consider the pact.
Meanwhile, some business leaders in three industries have cut their projections for the country’s export expansion this year, because of concerns over the slowing global economic recovery. But the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking has maintained its forecast for growth in gross domestic policy at 3-3.5 per cent, thanks to mega-project investments, the government’s stimulus package, and rising tourism growth.
Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the committee, said that although exports had returned to positive growth in February, there was no guarantee of that continuing in the remaining months of the year.
Exports rise in February
“Exports increased in February for a special reason, not because of higher demand in the market. Exports have still been challenged by unclear global economic growth and the slowing down of trading,” he said.
To promote export growth, the committee called on the government to increase the competitiveness of the export sector for the long term amid the changing global trading structure.
The committee expects the country’s inflation rate to remain low at zero or 1 per cent this year.
It proposed that the government encourage the Board of Investment to launch a measure to encourage Thai enterprises to invest overseas and increase the competitiveness of investors on the global stage.
It also wants the government to offer Thai investors tax privileges to encourage them to bring money back to the Kingdom.