August 1, 2005

General Accord on a Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement Is Welcome

Itaru Koeda, Chairman

As chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, I heartily welcome the general accord that has been reached on the establishment of an economic partnership agreement between Japan and Thailand.On this occasion, I wish to salute the unflagging efforts of both the Thai and Japanese government officials concerned in bringing about this important progress.

As with similar agreements that Japan has reached with the Philippines and Malaysia, an economic partnership with Thailand is very significant and holds great promise for the automotive industry in both nations.We have high hopes that this agreement will, through expanded trade, investment and industrial cooperation between Thailand and Japan, strengthen the ties between our two countries and contribute to the further development of our respective motor industries.

JAMA is also much encouraged by the agreement to eliminate import duties on auto parts and to reduce tariffs on a range of complete vehicles.

With talks on designated issues forthcoming, I look forward to fruitful further negotiations that result in greater deregulation, which will reinforce the close partnership between the Thai and Japanese automotive industries.

For the Japanese auto industry, Thailand will remain a critical partner over the years to come.In that spirit, we would like to contribute to the further growth of the Thai auto industry, and thereby to increased economic prosperity in Thailand.