Thai commercial counselors abroad urged to speed up expanding trade

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BANGKOK, May 26 – Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai on Wednesday announced she had instructed 63 commercial counselors posted to embassies and consulates abroad to speed up their marketing activities to expand trade in both existing and new markets to ensure Thailand’s exports grow no less than 15 per cent as targeted this year.

Speaking after delivering a policy statement to the assembled counselors in Bangkok, she said should all parties cooperate to do that, and the US and European markets recover in the second half of this year, exports this year might grow more than 15 per cent. The ministry will continue to closely monitor exports to targeted countries, she added.

Another ministry source said Mrs Porntiva will announce the upward revision of the export growth estimate to 15-16 per cent this year after presiding over the THAIFEX-World of Food Asia Exhibition at Muangthong Thani Trade Exhibition Center.

The International Trade Promotion Office revised its estimate of export growth in East Asia and Oceania (Japan, South Korea, and Australia) upward to US$36.7 billion or 10 per cent from 8 per cent of the total export value.

It forecast exports to the Middle East this year would reach $10.8 billion or 12 per cent of the total export value, not 7 per cent as targeted earlier.

The Middle East is seen as a major Thai export destination because there are 15 countries in the region with a combined population of 275 million and gross domestic product growth of 3.8 per cent.

Many oil-rich countries, particularly those in the Gulf Cooperation Council — including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain — are situated there. (MCOT online news)