Double-digit export growth for Thailand in 2013 impossible

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BANGKOK, Nov 29 – Thailand will not achieve double-digit growth in export volume next year, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said today.

He said the predicted monthly export growth of US$20 billion in the final quarter of this year will push the annual volume to US$232.3 billion, an increase of only 5 per cent for the entire year.

The grim outlook for Thailand’s trading landscape was shared by former commerce minister Narongchai Akrasenee who forecast Thailand’s exports next year to increase by 8-9 per cent at the most.

It is almost impossible for Thailand to reach double-digit growth since the public sector will have to import raw materials on a large scale for investment in infrastructure relating to flood prevention and logistics development, he said.

Mr Narongchai urged all parties concerned to control the boom of personal loans given the risk of non-performing loans in the market next year.

While the euro remains weak, the strong Thai baht will attract foreign investment in the country, he said.

Srirat Rastapana, director general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the department will be engaged in expanding investment among members of the ASEAN Economic Community as well as non-ASEAN countries next year.

Promotions of the Thai kitchen to the world, halal food, development of merchandise to meet green economy requirements and the development of small- and medium-size enterprises to the global market are some of the ITD’s major missions next year, she added.