Meeting Between Ms. Seiko Hashimoto, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Pradit Phataraprasit, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Thailand
June 8, 2009
- On June 8 (Mon), a meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
between Ms. Seiko Hashimoto, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Mr.
Pradit Phataraprasit, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Deputy Minister Pradit is currently visiting Japan.
- At the meeting, State Secretary Hashimoto and Deputy Minister Pradit
discussed various issues of concern involved in operation of the Japan-Thailand
Economic Partnership Agreement. Regarding the issue of eligible importers
of hot-rolled steel sheets for automotive usage, which has been a problem
since the agreement came into effect, Deputy Minister Pradit explained that
necessary measures will be taken in Thailand to resolve this issue. In response,
State Secretary Hashimoto said that she welcomes the decision and expects
that necessary measures are taken promptly and tariffs are refunded.
- State Secretary Hashimoto and Deputy Minister Pradit also exchanged opinions regarding economic issues related to Japan and Thailand’s bilateral relationship.
(Reference 1) The Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA)
It came into effect on November 1, 2007. As for market access reform by Thailand, an agreement was reached to abolish all tariffs on steel and iron within ten years. Among this, tariffs for half of all export value were immediately abolished (including tariff-free quotas).
(Reference 2) Issue of eligible importers of hot-rolled steel sheets for cold rolling for automotive usage
Regarding tariff-free/tariff rate quotas on hot-rolled steel sheets for automotive usage, importers entitled to tariff-free quotas are stipulated under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement to be “manufacturers of motor vehicles or parts and accessories of motor vehicles”. Thailand, however, hadn’t recognized Japanese cold-rolled steel manufacturers, which fall under the category of importers of rolled hot steel sheets for automotive usage (mentioned above), as eligible importers to tariff-free quotas. In response, Japan repeatedly requested of Thailand that re-rollers be accepted as eligible importers to tariff-free quotas and a refund of tariffs. (Re-roller: A steel processing manufacturer that re-rolls hot-rolled steel sheets to make them thinner and longer for automotive usage)