Phuket Gazette - Monday, November 12, 2012
Phuket Business: ASEAN set to ink deals with China
PHUKET: ASEAN and Chinese leaders are set to ink two Free Trade Agreements (FTA) facilitating commerce at a bilateral summit later this month.
Representatives will meet on November 18 in Cambodia, at a summit between ASEAN leaders and six partner countries.
One agreement would eliminate some trade barriers related to sanitary and phytosanitary (animal and plant health) standards; the other would give officials more flexibility in facilitating growth between ASEAN and China.
China has agreed to provide financial aid in order to promote closer economic ties with ASEAN.
After a delay, Commerce Ministry Inspector-General Boonyarit Kalayanamit said the Chinese government has shown signs that it’ll allocate funds to support ASEAN projects soon. At the summit, the two sides will find an agreement on trade liberalization. Certain goods on both sides remain sensitive. For these sensitive items, both sides have agreed to tariffs of less than 20% by 2015, with most products down to zero by 2018. Sensitive goods would include coffee, seeds, rice, nuts, garlic and onions.
China is currently the largest trading partner of both ASEAN and Thailand.
– Petchanet Pratruangkrai