ERJ staff report (BC)
Phattalung, Thailand - Representatives of the Thai rubber industry have voiced opposition to a bill which they say will benefit foreign investors at the expense of local farmers, according to a Bangkok Post report.
Some articles in the Thai Rubber Bill, which is pending parliamentary committee approval, could erode Thailand's sovereignty over its rubber industry, said Thai Rubber Party chief Perk Lekwangpong.
The bill provides that 80 percent of the levy on rubber exports, known as cess, will be set aside for rubber operators, but not for farmers, and the problem could worsen once Thailand joins the Asian Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, added Perk.
Under the AEC, foreign rubber firms from other Asian countries will come to Thailand and would be eligible to benefit from cess revenue.
Perk said he was already aware of one Singapore-based multinational corporation looking to invest in Thai rubber, and that more than ten Thai rubber exporters would be adversely affected by an influx of foreign investment.
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