and New Zealand Sign FTA
and New Zealand have signed a free-trade agreement in April
which will see duties eliminated on more than 10,000 products
from both countries. Beginning in July, New Zealand will eliminate
duties on 5,878 Thai products and Thailand will do likewise
on 2,978 export items from New Zealand.
Zealand will remove duties on an additional 1,555 items by
2015, including items from the sensitive list such as textiles,
clothing and shoes. Thailand will excise import levies on
the remaining 2,481 products from New Zealand by 2015. Three
other agreements on labor, environment and a working holiday
scheme were also signed by both countries.
and New Zealand traded US$500 million (Bt19 million) between
them in 2003. Thailand's key exports to New Zealand include
pick-up trucks, frozen shrimps, canned tuna and seafood, plastic
pellets and products, furniture, gems and jewellery, seasoning
made from cereal, electric appliances, cosmetics, glass and
glass products, machines, and pet food.
Zealand exports product items such as powdered milk and processed
food for babies, fish and marine animals, wood and wood products,
pulp and paper products, vitamins, and protein to Thailand.
to Social Security Act -
Coverage for Retrenched Workers Only
a bid to overhaul the Social Security Act, amendments to the
Act have been proposed in February to make it more responsive
to current social and economic situations. Following the new
amendments, only dismissed workers will be compensated for
unemployment; workers who resign voluntarily will no longer
be eligible. According to the proposed amendments, the board
of directors from the Social Security Office will accept appeals
for unemployment compensation by workers who resign, but approval
will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
qualified unemployed workers who have contributed to the social
security fund for a set period of time may receive 30 per
cent of their last-drawn salary for three months under certain
conditions. Although the international practice is to compensate
only workers, Thai laws compensate workers who were forced
to resign by employers who seek to avoid the consequences
of laying off workers.
Perks for Listed Firms to Continue
spokesperson from the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI)
disclosed in April that the Revenue Department has agreed,
in principle, to continue providing tax perks for all companies
listed on the SET or the MAI. However, it is not certain if
there will be equal tax incentives for both markets and the
amount of tax incentives has yet to be decided.
added that the Revenue Department is also deliberating whether
to limit the period for granting tax incentives or to make
the tax perks a permanent fixture for all listed companies.