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Thailand remains on USTR’s Watch List in 2018 report

In December last year, Thailand was moved to the watch list (WL) from the Priority Watch List (PWL) where the country had been for 10 years since 2007.

Olivier Languepin

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United States has decided to keep Thailand on its  Watch List (WL) for intellectual property protection for the 2nd consecutive year Thai News Agency said today (April 29).

Thailand remains on the Watch List in 2018, after an Out-of-Cycle Review between September and December 2017 resulted in moving Thailand from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List.

In December last year, Thailand was moved to the watch list (WL) from the Priority Watch List (PWL), the bottom tier, where the country had been stuck for 10 years since 2007.

The 23 other countries listed in the watch list along with Thailand are Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong has expressed satisfaction over the US’s decision to keep Thailand in the “Watch List” (WL) tier on IP infringements after the country just moved up from the bottom tier  last year.

Engagement on IP protection and enforcement as part of the bilateral U.S.-Thailand TIFA yielded significant progress on addressing U.S. IP concerns across a range of issues, including enforcement, patents and pharmaceuticals, trademarks, and copyright.

Special 301 report of the Office of the United States Trade Representative

In addition, Thailand joined the Madrid Protocol, making it easier for U.S. companies to apply for trademarks, and took steps to address concerns regarding online piracy affecting the U.S. content industry.

However, the reports also lists remaining concerns regarding the availability of counterfeit and pirated goods, both in physical markets and online, and the United States urges Thailand to continue to improve on its provision of effective and deterrent enforcement measures.

Counterfeited and unsafe medecines

According to the USTR report Counterfeiting contributes to the proliferation of substandard, unsafe medicines that do not conform to established quality standards.

Fake drugs Bangkok

Fake drugs are on display in the street of Bangkok

The United States notes its particular concern with the proliferation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals that are manufactured, sold, and distributed in numerous trading partners, including China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Ninety percent of the value of all counterfeit pharmaceuticals seized at the U.S. border in Fiscal Year 2017 was shipped from or transshipped through four economies : China, the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, and India.

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Trade

Thailand to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry has launched measures to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year, valued at around 150 billion baht, with Indonesia, China, Bangladesh and Iraq set to be the main markets under government-to-government (G2G) deals.

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Singapore

UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

Singapore’s role as a hub for UK companies, whether as exporters or investors accessing Southeast Asia’s and broader Asian dynamic economies, was elevated by the new UK-Singapore trade agreement (UKSTA) which came into effect on 1st January 2021.

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UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

There was much controversy, before and after the United Kingdom’s (UK) Brexit from the European Union (EU), in talk of it adopting a free trade and manufacturing model similar to Singapore’s.

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Economics

Cross-border trade is expected to grow up to 3-6%

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to recover to growth of 3-6% this year, helped by COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the global economic recovery.

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Foreign Trade Department Director-General Keerati Rushchano said cross-border trade, which includes transit trade, is likely to generate 1.36 to 1.40 trillion baht, up from 1.31 trillion baht in 2020.

According to Mr Keerati, the key risk factor that may derail border trade growth is the political chaos in Myanmar that will weaken purchasing power there and cause a delay in goods transport.

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