OAE: Thailand still has upper hand in FTAs on farm products

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BANGKOK, 20 August 2012  – The Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) has disclosed that Thailand this year still has an edge over its dialogue partners in the free trade agreements (FTAs) on agricultural products. 

Mr. Apichart Jongsakul, Secretary-General of the OAE, said the FTAs made with 7 countries concerning farm products have put Thailand at an advantage and have yielded trade surplus for the country during the first half of this year.

According to him, Thailand has earned 23 billion baht in surplus from trading through the FTA with China, a 22% increase year-on-year, and 9.1 billion baht from trading with South Korea, an 11% rise. As much as 70 billion baht worth of surplus has also been recorded from trading with Japan, 8% higher than last year.

However, Thailand is running a trade deficit worth 6.5 billion baht against India, 4.3 billion baht against New Zealand, 4.2 billion baht against Australia, and 584 million baht against Peru.

Mr. Apichart noted that the overall trade volumes of farm products between Thailand and FTA partners have been fluctuating due to both external and internal factors, such as the current global economic climate, higher import values of raw materials and declining export values of Thai rice and grains.