Made in ASEAN initiative on the cards

Made in Asean initiative on the cards

Thailand is set to team up with the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) and Asean members to push forward the Made in Asean initiative, making certain products to the same quality standards.

Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said holding products to the same quality standards would facilitate production connectivity throughout the supply chain, cutting production costs for regional manufacturers.

“Under this initiative, manufacturers in Asean could make products for different brands, but those produced at joint manufacturing bases would be labelled Made in Asean for re-export in the world market,” she said after a meeting with Jetro president Masayasu Hosumi.

Jetro has pleddged to coordinate development of production skills of manufacturers in neighbouring countries and upgrade their management skills to meet international standards.

Lat month, Jetro agreed to cooperate with the Commerce Ministry to upgrade small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly under the One Tambon One Product scheme, starting with crockery in Lampang province.

Jetro also pledged to help promote and support the expansion of Thai service businesses in Japan.

The assistance stemmed from an agreement reached during an official visit to Japan by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak last November.

Mrs Apiradi said potential products that could be made under the Made in Asean initiative included electronics, electrical appliances, garments, furniture and cosmetics.

Thailand will propose the initiative at a meeting of ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to be held in Bangkok in February or March.

The Thai tourism and sports, culture and industry ministers will attend.

The forum will also try to underline trade and investment cooperation in the region, she said.

In a related development, Mrs Apiradi quoted Mr Hosumi as saying Jetro was now preparing policy suggestions for the government, based on a survey of Japanese firms in Thailand.

From Bangkok Post