Commerce Ministry affirms 2013 export growth target at 8-9% despite stronger baht

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BANGKOK, 14 March 2013 The Commerce Ministry has come out to assure that the export outlook in 2013 remains strong despite the baht appreciation. 

Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikuar said on Wednesday that Thai furniture exports, so far this year, have improved satisfactorily after the industry was hit by the flood crisis in 2011 and the economic crisis both in the US and EU.

In 2013, the Commerce Ministry forecasts that the value of exported furniture will amount to 1.25 billion US dollars, which represents a 5% year-on-year growth.

Mr. Nattawut stated that the furniture exports account for nearly 10% of Thailand’s total exports.

Based on the latest projection, the Deputy Commerce Minister is confident that the overall growth of Thai exports will hit the target of 8-9% in 2013.

He went on to say that the strengthening of the baht has not had any impact of the exports during the first quarter of this year.

Still, Mr. Nattawut noted that the Commerce Ministry will continue to keep a close watch on the performance of the export industry in the second quarter.

He added that, if the stronger baht ever hits the sector markedly, the ministry will promptly introduce necessary measures to assist exporters.

Lastly, he expressed confidence that the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand will be able to maintain the stability of the baht and prevent its movement from hurting the exports and the economy.