ASEAN states told to ease non-tariff barriers, laws
Thailand and other Asean countries have been urged to take strenuous steps to genuinely open up the regional market in trade and services ahead of the Asean Economic Community in 2015, as there are still far too many non-tariff barriers and restrictions hindering trade and service sector growth.
At yesterday’s “2012 Thailand Investment Environment: Maximising the AEC Opportunities” seminar, panellists shared the view that those involved in Thai trade, service and investment should be less concerned by the challenges of a more intensive competitive environment under the AEC than by the lack of development caused by the many rules and regulations obstructing investment and new business coming to the Kingdom.
Kirida Bhaopichitr, senior economist at the World Bank, said Thailand’s share of service sector business was falling because the country still had a high level of protection in business service trade.
“Thailand is losing competitiveness, with or without the AEC. Income in the Thai industrial sector has grown continuously, but income in the service sector has increased slowly when compared with other Asean members because of the high level of protection in the country,” she said.
She said that although Thailand and other Asean countries have committed to liberalising the service sector and trade in goods, the fruits of the AEC’s implementation would in effect be delayed because of too much protection through…
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