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Central bank chief wants FTA openness

Bangkok Post

Central bank chief wants FTA openness

17 January 2006

(TNA) - Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula said he felt the mounting opposition to a free trade area (FTA) was due to the lack of an explanation to the public in a concrete manner.

He said the government had adopted the FTA policy for the interest of the country.

However, state agencies concerned need to give proper explanation to people on the policy, including pros and cons and objectives of implementing the policy.

In the past, negotiations for Thailand-China, Thailand-New Zealand, Thailand-Australia FTA deals had not experienced any opposition from people.

But when negotiations for the Thailand-United States and Thailand-Japan FTA deals began, the issues were publicized because the trade partners are major countries.

Worse still, some negotiators failed to explain and give proper understanding of the need to make FTA deals to the public. So, it has led to misunderstanding and opposition.

Should the government want to go ahead with the FTA policy, he said, it has to boost public relations to ensure proper understanding among the public.

It must explain to the people whether and how the FTA deals would affect the country and their living, he suggested.

Now, the people are worried about repercussions from the deals because of the lack of proper understanding, he said.