BANGKOK, 28 May 2012 – The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) has revealed that Thailand and Australia are collaborating to bring down existing trade barriers while an agreement has been signed with an Australian retail giant in hopes of boosting Thai fruit sales.
Following her trip to Australia with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during 26-28 May, DITP Director-General Nantawan Sakuntanak said that Thailand and Australia are working closely to enhance mutual cooperation in various dimensions. She added that with the launch of the ‘Thailand: Kitchen to the World’ strategy in Sydney, the Commerce Ministry has asked Australia to ease up on sanitary measures for plant and animal products, such as shrimps and chicken meat. Meanwhile, the ministry has asked Australia to consider providing more flexibility on the required English language skill level of Thai chefs working abroad.
On the other hand, Australia has asked Thailand to reduce the tariff on hot and cold rolled steel to 0% within 2015 under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement in order to boost Thailand’s steel import from the country. At the same time, Thailand is to consider reducing excise tax on large and off-road vehicles as well as lifting the ban on the import of five Australian fruits, consisting of cherries, apricots, plums, peaches and nectarines.
Additionally, the DITP has signed an MoU with Woolworths, a large supermarket chain with over 1,600 branches across Australia, in order to co-organize promotions on farm products and boost the latter’s import of Thai fruits, especially coconuts and durians.