The Nation, Thailand
Sondhi alleges Thaksin signs FTA with Australia, China to benefit his IP Star
13 January 2006
Sondhi Limthongkul, founder of the Manger Group, alleged that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra signed free trade agreement contracts with Australia and China with ulterior motive to benefit telecom businesses of his family.
Sondhi said the FTA contracts with Australia and China had severely affected villagers and farmers but the IP Star satellite project of Shin Corp, owned by Thaksin’s family, stood to benefit greatly.
Sondhi said the FTA contracts with Australia affected daily farmers and villagers who made and sold locally-brew liquors as Australia could export milk and spirits to Thailand with no tariff.
At the same time, the FTA contract with China caused garlic and onion farmers to suffer with influx of cheaper garlic and onion from China but the telecom businesses of Thaksin’s family could expand to China.