Ministry of Commerce: Middle East market turns to focus on quality products

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BANGKOK, 6 June 2014  – The Ministry of Commerce is advising entrepreneurs to study changing consumption trends in the Middle East market to focus on quality products, particularly health care products. 

Nantawan Sakultanak, the director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), said that exports from Thailand to the Middle East between January and April were worth USD 4.066 billion, an increase of 6 percent, while the imports amounted to USD 10.515 billion, which was a drop of 14.7 percent.

Export products to the Middle East during the four months mainly consisted of automobiles and parts, air-conditioners and parts, jewelry and accessories, chemicals, rubber products, canned and processed seafood.

“Arab consumers are focusing more on brands or images of the products showing elegance and modernity, as well as health food. DITP therefore is looking to help Thai entrepreneurs conduct analysis in line with market demands, especially SMEs and OTOP manufacturers,” said Ms. Nantawan.

Separately, Nattapon Boonjing, the director of International Trade Promotion Office at Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), noted that the export trend, especially food, has been positive in Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Governments of these countries have policies to build food security guarantees in long term by implementing funds from their sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) to purchase food, land, and infrastructures in foreign countries.

The GCC countries have a population of around 40 million, and it is expected to reach 50 million by 2020. Presently, their food imports worth around USD25.8 billion yearly.