FTA perks, GSP al­most hit $69bn

Bangkok Post - - BUSINESS - PHUSADEE ARUNMAS

The use of free trade agree­ment (FTA) priv­i­leges and the Gen­er­alised Sys­tem of Pref­er­ences (GSP) by Thai ex­porters topped US$68.8 bil­lion in the first 11 months of last year, up 15.3% from the same pe­riod a year ear­lier. Adul Cho­tin­isakorn, direc­tor-gen­eral of the For­eign Trade De­part­ment, said the util­i­sa­tion rate in the first 11 months of 2018 rep­re­sented 97.2% of the tar­get, set at $70.8 bil­lion by the de­part­ment. Of the to­tal value, FTA priv­i­lege use ac­counted for $64.3 bil­lion, up 15.3% from the first 11 months in 2017, with ship­ments un­der GSP to­talling $4.43 bil­lion, an in­crease of 22.2%. The high­est vol­ume of FTA use stemmed from Thai-Asean to­talling $24.8 bil­lion, fol­lowed by Thai-China ($16.2 bil­lion), Thai-Aus­tralia ($8.5 bil­lion), Thai-Ja­pan ($7.02 bil­lion) and Thai-In­dia ($4.09). The Thai-Peru FTA saw the high­est growth in use at 44.6%. Items that recorded the most priv­i­lege use were trucks, rub­ber prod­ucts, pas­sen­ger cars, pe­tro­leum and cane sugar. Thai­land has 13 FTAs in place, in­clud­ing the Asean-Hong Kong FTA and an in­vest­ment agree­ment sched­uled to take ef­fect this month. Mr Adul said Thai man­u­fac­tur­ing and ex­ports to the sig­na­to­ries are ex­pected to ben­e­fit this year, as the Asean-Hong Kong FTA comes into force while the AseanChina FTA has re­vised the rules of ori­gin for new prod­uct items such as fin­ished food, petro­chem­i­cals and cos­met­ics by scrap­ping a limit on the value of im­ported raw ma­te­ri­als to be used in the lo­cal pro­duc­tion, ef­fec­tive in July. With re­spect to the use of GSP ben­e­fits, the value of pref­er­ence util­i­sa­tion also rose $3.96 bil­lion in the first 11 months, an in­crease of 14.2% from the same pe­riod of the year be­fore.

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