MCOT News, 30 May 2005
Operators in financial sector opposes FTA with US
BANGKOK, May 30 (TNA) - Local operators in the financial sector have voiced opposition to the financial liberalization between the United States and Thailand, saying that they would be put at disadvantage since the US financial services are more advanced than Thailand’s.
A source at the Finance Ministry disclosed most operators disagreed the proposed establishment of the free trade area (FTA) between the two countries because they were not ready to compete with the US counterparts in the financial services.
“We lag behind the US considerably in terms of financial services. So, the more we accelerate the financial liberalization, the more disadvantage we will be put,” said the source.
Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Somkid Jatusripitak considered the FTA with the US as a sensitive issue while the US regarded the financial liberalization as an important matter.
Consequently, the source said, a team of Thai negotiators wanted the government to make a clear stance on the matter so they could answer the US counterpart.
Unless Thailand was ready to establish the FTA with the US, the issue would be brought for discussion again in the next three years.
For now, the negotiation process would continue with the 4th FTA talk with the US scheduled to take place during 11-18 July at Montana City. (TNA) - E005