Thailand: Double-digit export growth within reach

  • With a number of positive factors such as a weak baht, continued efforts to seek new markets and limited effects from the escalating trade row, the Commerce Ministry says exports may grow by double digits in 2018.
  • Such strong growth requires hard work and close partnerships between the government and private sector to tackle obstacles, said Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong.
  • His comments were delivered during talks with key export players in the food and fruit industries, as well as members of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, to evaluate the effects of the trade row between the US and China.
  • “Thailand’s overall exports are expected to stay in good shape in 2018,” he said.
  • “The impact of the trade spate between these two giant economies is unlikely to be significant, while Thailand expects to gain more opportunities to export frozen foods such as shrimp, poultry, pork, and canned tuna to both the US and China.”
  • Mr Sontirat said Thailand is also eligible to buy more seafood materials at cheaper prices to be processed for export. But he said the industry remains concerned by a possible flood of seafood onto the Thai market.
  • “It is quite hard to evaluate the country’s export growth because of the fast-changing trade conditions, but the Commerce Ministry strongly believes Thai exports will exceed 8% and possibly record double-digit growth in 2018,” said Mr Sontirat.
  • “This half, the positive factors driving export growth include the weakening baht, the improving global economy, while the UK’s departure from the European Union will be good for Thai food exports.”
  • The Commerce Ministry said it will seek more export opportunities in new markets such as Asean, India, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, Bahrain and Europe.
  • For the first five months of 2018, Thai exports rose by 11.6%, the highest rate in seven years, to USD104.03bn.

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