Thai whisky makers are to request a halving of beverage tax in the country. The whisky makers are planning a major rally in Bangkok next month.

The Chairman of the Association of Thai Breweries, Chaowakorn Tausawad, said yesterday that local wine and whisky producers are worried that they would lose market share once the free trade area (FTA) agreements Thailand has signed with Australia and China become effective at the beginning of next year.

Australia and China will enjoy a large reduction in tariffs under the agreements, making their products more affordable in Thailand.

"We won't be able to compete with these imported wines. More Thais will opt to drink foreign wines, instead of local booze, if the prices are not much different. The government must help us stay in a more competitive market; otherwise thousands of us would have to close down our production," Chaowakorn said.

The rally is scheduled to take place on 9 October at the Royal Plaza Monument in the capital.