03/27/2013 10:25 EDT | Updated 05/27/2013 05:12 EDT

Government's plan to raise tariffs not an issue in Thailand, Flaherty says

BANGKOK - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the government's plan to raise tariffs on goods from emerging nations in 2015 hasn't been an issue on his trade mission to Asia.

Flaherty said from Bangkok on Wednesday that he has met with business leaders and Thai officials, none of whom raised the issue of Canada's general preferential tariffs.

Flaherty also says he has discussed banking issues with officials in Thailand and says they acknowledged a need to move to a "level playing field" between government and non-government banks.

The finance minister says he's visiting Hong Kong and Bangkok to promote Canada and encourage the opening of new markets and the expansion of trade and investment in fast-growing economies.

Flaherty says the discussions in Thailand have centred on moving toward some sort of free trade between Canada and Thailand.

Since 2006, Flaherty has made several trips to Asia to promote the Canadian economy and encourage further trade.