Commerce Ministry will convince EU to keep Thai products under GSP

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BANGKOK, 17 August 2012  – The Commerce Ministry is set to enter negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union in an attempt to maintain the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) privileges for Thai goods sent the European market. 

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom disclosed that he has instructed the Department of Trade Negotiations to plan talks with the EU on the FTA deals for fears that many Thai products would be excluded from the GSP system.

He explained the EU has revised its GSP criteria on import products, which may cause Thailand to be left out in 2014. Mr. Boonsong said the negotiation agenda is currently being drafted and will be presented to the cabinet for consideration within this month.

According to the Commerce Minister, top priority on the agenda will be Thailand’s attempt to put Thai goods facing GSP cuts in 2014 to be entitled to an Early Harvest scheme which will subject imports from Thailand to a zero percent tax. Tariffs will be exempted completely once the free trade deal is made.