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Plan to seek higher farm crops quota

The Nation, Thailand

Plan to seek higher farm crops quota

By Petchanet Pratruangkrai

15 June 2015

Tokyo: Thailand and Japan have agreed to talk further at an official level before formally revising the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement on the 10th anniversary of the pact, which came into effect in November 2007.

"Thailand would like Japan to increase its quota on imported farm crops, particularly rice, and reduce the duty on rice imported outside the quota.

"We also would like to increase market access for farm products in Japan, while cooperating further in technology transfers in many industries," Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said after a meeting with Yoichi Miyazawa, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, last week.

Both countries agreed to further revise the JTEPA and expand |cooperation in all dimensions, especially trade, services, investment and technology transfers, he said.

Miyazawa encouraged Thailand to set a date for negotiating liberalisation of the trade in vehicles with engines of more than 3,000cc for Japanese cars, and to reduce import duties on auto parts.

Chatchai said those issues would be further discussed during the upcoming meeting between the two countries’ officials and will also be officially negotiated at the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the JTEPA.

Technology transfer

Since Japan has developed high technology in many industries, Thailand will also encourage Japan to transfer more technology and know-how to Thailand under closer cooperation in the agreement.

Japanese rice importers also would like to increase purchases of Thai rice under the quota from 295,000 tonnes to 350,000 tonnes a year to serve higher consumption and industrial demand as a raw material for snacks and sake.

Thailand also wants to ship 5 per cent more processed and frozen chicken in value to Japan from exports worth US$10.05 billion (Bt339 billion) last year.

According to the Commerce Ministry, Japan is Thailand’s sixth-largest export market and 11th-largest import market. Since 2007, trade between the two countries has spurted 30 per cent to $57.53 billion last year.

Last year, exports from Thailand to Japan were valued at $21.82 billion, while imports reached $35.71 billion. The first four months of this year saw two-way trade at $17.86 billion, of which exports from Thailand were worth $6.73 billion.