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Guardian not put off by FTA woes

The Nation, Bangkok

Guardian not put off by FTA woes

30 April 2008

By Wichit Chaitrong

Guardian Industry, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of float glass and fabricated glass products, is confident of expanding its investment in Thailand despite the failure of talks on a free-trade pact between Thailand and the United States.

Stephen Farrar, director of international business, said the firm was waiting for tax incentives from the Board of Investment for its expansion project worth US$50 million (Bt1.58 billion).

"We do not worry about a free-trade deal between Thailand and the United States because we have used Thailand as a production base to export most of our products in Southeast Asia," he said.

Guardian established its first Asian plant in Saraburi province in 1992 and set up another facility in Rayong province in 1997.

The plants manufacture clear and coloured float glass as well as mirrors to serve demand in the commercial and residential construction and automotive industries domestically and internationally.

In a seminar yesterday, James Rooney, chairman of JP Rooney and Associates, said it would become more difficult for the United States to negotiate on free-trade agreements, not only with Thailand but also other countries, if the president has no power to run the fast-track process.