Commerce Ministry targets 15% export growth


BANGKOK, 18 February 2012 – The government is set to push the export growth this year to 15 percent in its latest bid to retrieve the flood-hit economy. 

In the Saturday talk show, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom disclosed that the export which slowed down during the first quarter due to the flood crisis was showing signs of recovery. Related agencies will be invited to evaluate the situation after the second quarter so as to map out strategies to achieve the 15 percent economic growth target.

The Commerce Ministry has instructed the Export Promotion Department and commercial counselors to Thai embassies worldwide to be more proactive in promoting Thai exports and to explore overseas markets where Thailand can import capital goods at lower prices.

At the same time, Thai operators will be urged to expand their business to neighboring countries. The value of cross-border trade currently totals THB900 billion and is expected to go over THB1 trillion this year.

In addition, the government will foster ties with neighboring countries to prepare the country for its entry to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which is expected to help expand the country’s trade opportunities.

Mr. Boonsong revealed that Thai exports to ASEAN nations and those having FTA with Thailand represent 60 percent of the overall international trade. The Commerce Minister explained that exports to the U.S. and European countries which were once major customers have been lowered because Thai operators have decided to cut down on their trade to avoid risks in those markets.

The government is now planning to penetrate new markets in South Africa and the Middle East where many countries still have not signed any trade deal with Thailand.