Stagnant export growth predicted for Thailand

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BANGKOK, Sept 25 – An economist of a leading commercial bank warned today that Thailand’s export growth will not exceed 5 per cent if the European economic meltdown worsens.

Sutapa Amornvivat, executive vice president and chief economist of the Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Centre, described the country’s 2012 export situation as volatile given the European economic crisis and an economic contraction in China.

New orders from the euro-zone purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, have persistently declined, she said, adding that the electronics and commodities-based industries will be hardest hit.

Prices of some commodities including rubber have declined significantly, contributing to losses from stock keeping, she said.

She predicted the country’s export growth for next year at 5-10 per cent, saying the prediction will be less broad with the export figure in the final quarter of this year.

Ms Sutapa said small and medium enterprises will be affected by the declining orders and stronger Thai currency. She advised entrepreneurs to manage currency hedge to minimise the risk of currency fluctuations.

Kobsak Putrakul, assistant manager of the Bangkok Bank, said Thai exporters should be given capital support during the global crisis, or they may have to close their businesses.

He said the ongoing export slowdown has a great impact on his customers.