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HIV patients urge caution on EU FTA talks
The Nation, Bangkok
HIV patients urge caution on EU FTA talks
By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
21 September 2012
People afflicted with the Aids virus have called on the government to proceed carefully on free-trade negotiations with the European Union, as the latter’s demands for copyright protection could make it difficult for patients to access cheap medicines.
About 30 HIV-positive patients and the FTA Watch Group yesterday went to the Commerce Ministry calling for the government to be cautious on what it commits to during talks on a free-trade agreement with the EU.
They said the government should not accept any demands that go beyond the World Trade Organisation’s agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
In an open letter submitted to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, patients raised concern that Thailand could lose opportunities to access cheap drugs if the government is only concerned about tariff reductions for some products it wants to export to the EU market.
The letter stated that although Thailand might not immediately suffer any negative impact from this FTA if it committed to stringent protection of intellectual-property rights, the country would face huge losses from higher prices for medicines.
The letter noted that about 70 per cent of the public health budget was spent on medicines each year. That amount could rise greatly and create a long-term impact on the Kingdom’s spending.
The letter was also submitted to Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyaphirom and Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri.
Last graf says there have been 50. The activists called on the government to ensure compliance with the Constitution before making commitments to any country on liberalising markets or adopting any agreements that could have impacts on Thais’ economic and social well-being.
According to the department, Thailand and the EU have not yet officially started the first round of FTA talks. The draft of the negotiation plan is waiting for the Cabinet and Parliament’s ratification under the Constitution.
More than 50 public hearings have been conducted to voice concerns and opinions from public and involved private enterprises.
Thailand and the EU plan to start the first round of talks early next year.
News from the movements
30-Mar-2017 La Via CampesinaA workshop is being convened in early April to build collective capacities on trade agreements in general and RCEP in particular. The workshop will be held in Bangalore, a city in South India
29-Mar-2017 Business MirrorMining firms should not resort to international arbitration in forcing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to revoke its decision to suspend 28 mines and cancel 75 mineral-production sharing agreements.
28-Mar-2017 Tercera InformaciónLa campaña No al TTIP, CETA, TiSA, de la que forma parte Ecologistas en Acción, pide a los grupos parlamentarios tiempo suficiente para un escrutinio exhaustivo de un tratado que impactaría directamente en la población e hipotecaría gravemente su futuro.
23-Mar-2017 Front anti APE et anti CFA - SénégalLe comité de pilotage du Front anti Accords de Partenariat Economique (APE) et anti franc CFA après avoir apprécié la situation politique, économique et sociale actuelle a pris des décisions importantes.
22-Mar-2017 S2BJoint civil society statement on the Eu-Japan free trade agreement.
22-Mar-2017 G20 ProtestsLa “Semana de solidaridad global” contra el G20 nos dará la oportunidad de expresar el otro mundo y nuestra convicción de que es posible.
17-Mar-2017 No al TTIP
Taller de formación: ‘El Tratado de los Pueblos y las normas vinculantes de la ONU. Alternativas al TTIP, CETA, TiSA’El taller se impartirá de forma presencial en Madrid y se transmitirá en tiempo real.
Ces « zones libres » en Europe qui privilégient les alternatives locales face au néolibéralisme globalDes élus volontaristes pourront-ils, demain, soutenir la relocalisation de l’économie, favoriser les aliments bios et locaux dans les cantines scolaires ou reprendre la main sur la gestion de l’eau ou de l’énergie ?
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