InfoQuest, (August 1, 2020) - Ms. Onmon Sapthawitham, Director-General of the International Trade Negotiations Department of the Ministry of Commerce, announced the conclusions of the seminar on Guidance for the Establishment of FTA Investment Fund. On July 30, 2020, the most participants supported and believed that an FTA fund was needed to assist those affected by the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). But the current FTA assistance programs have own limitations regardless of the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Cooperation, such as the existence of funds in the Ministry of Commerce deplaning on annual budgets received. So there may no allocation or insufficient allocation in some years, as well as complex approval procedures and long-time waiting; incomplete information disclosure and others will also hinder access to funds.
Therefore, it shall be improved and developed into a permanent FTA fund to be protected by law and available for affected enterprises.
There are some noteworthy suggestions in the seminar, such as the attention to this goal and the evaluation over the outcome of utilizing the Fund, so that beneficiaries can be assisted and their potential can be developed making them truly participating in the competition. Beneficiaries who have been assisted by the FTA may participate in the Fund donations, which will make it easier for those in need to better understand the Fund. The Government shall also be actively engaged, and a department is required for contacting fund allocation agencies and fund applicants.
Ms. Onmon said that the seminar was a platform for departments to make suggestions and representatives of the Government, the Standing Committee of the Parliament, representatives of farmers, the Ministry of Private Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs were invited.
In addition, the International Trade Negotiations Department of the Ministry of Commerce plans to listen to the Working Group and relevant departments to collect information for the Working Group to be used in the work of the Development Foundation to assist FTA-affected parties. The Foundation was established by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit and the Minister of Commerce, with Deputy Minister of Commerce as the next Chairman.
"FTA has always been a potential competitor in terms of its ability to expand foreign trade and exports; but there are still some people who are not ready to compete with imported products and need the governmental assistance. Limitations of the current Thai aid mechanism and its failure of satisfying farmers and small and medium-sized entrepreneur initiate this FTA policy," said Ms. Onmon.
Source: InfoQuest, by PON/Kasama Phon/Ratchada, translated by Xinhua Silk Road
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