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Srettha seeks break on Australian car emissions standards

PM asks for slowdown in enforcement as it could hurt Thai pickup truck exports

Pickup trucks are assembled at the Toyota Motor Corp plant in Ban Pho, Chachoengsao. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Pickup trucks are assembled at the Toyota Motor Corp plant in Ban Pho, Chachoengsao. (Photo: Bloomberg)

SYDNEY – Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has called on Australia to slow down a plan to introduce emissions standards as they could hurt the country’s automotive export industry.

The Thai premier made the request during a meeting with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese at an Asean-Australian summit on Tuesday, according to a readout of the meeting published by the Thai government.

Australia is currently the only country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) group of rich nations, other than Russia, without such standards.

Thailand exports more than 200,000 vehicles annually to Australia, predominantly the emissions-heavy pickup trucks that would be at risk under new rules.

Southeast Asia’s largest carmaker is aiming to convert 30% of its annual production of 2.5 million units to electric vehicles by 2030.

On Wednesday, Mr Albanese said the issue was not raised with Mr Srettha and defended the new standards, which would start in 2025 under the government’s preferred plan.

“Only two countries, two industrialised countries that don’t have emissions standards,” he said. “One of them is Australia and the other is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I don’t want to be on the same page as Russia on this or any other issue.”

The opposition Liberal Party has campaigned against the rules and said they would raise prices and lead to fewer options for buyers of pickup trucks that are popular in Australia.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the country’s main car industry lobby group, said on Wednesday that it supported fuel standards but they needed to be balanced and realistic to avoid unaffordable price increases and accommodate consumer choice.

This article was originally published by a www.bangkokpost.com . Read the Original article here. .

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