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FTA boosts Thai-Australian trade by nearly 50% in first 10 months of 2005

MCOT News, Thailand

FTA boosts Thai-Australian trade by nearly 50% in first 10 months of 2005

3 December 2005

BANGKOK, Dec 3 (TNA) - The value of bilateral trade between Thailand and Australia soared nearly 50% during the first 10 months of 2005, compared to the corresponding period of last year, thanks to the free trade area (FTA) agreement signed and implemented by the two countries one year ago.

The two countries held their first FTA Joint Commission Consultation this week.

Director General of the Department of Trade Negotiations Apiradi Tantraporn and First Assistant Secretary of Australia’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry Paul Grigson agreed at the forum that because of the FTA agreement, bilateral trade during the first ten months of 2005 soared to US$5.5 billion, up nearly 50 per cent from the same period of 2004.

Increased Thai exports to Australia during the period due to tax reductions included automobiles and parts, which rose by 70 per cent, and canned tuna by 13.61 per cent.

Mrs. Apiradi said that Australia is quite concerned regarding hygienic standards of imported food products, but Thailand had met the standrads and can now export longans, lychees and mangosteens to the Australian market.

Thailand is now attempting to export more durians and mangoes to Australia as well.

Canberra, she said, is willing to offer agricultural expertise and technology to Thai farmers, while at the same time the Thai government has invited Australia to jointly invest in local livestock and dairy farms.

A ministerial meeting which is also designed to encourage business persons of the two countries to meet and discuss joint investment opportunities is scheduled to be held in 2006. (TNA)—E002