Thai exports not looking bright this year: CITS

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BANGKOK, Jan 8 – The Center for International Trade Studies (CITS) of University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce forecast that Thailand’s exports are still not looking bright for this year, particularly in main markets such as Japan, the EU, and the US.  

CITS Director Aat Pisanwanich said Thai exports in 2013 will expand by 3.1-7.2 per cent.

Risk factors affecting the exports include the fluctuation of the world economy especially in Japan and US, Thailand’s main export destinations, and are tending to continually slow down.

Dr Aat said Thai exports to the main markets will expand only by 1.5 per cent, while expansion in the EU will expand 3.6 per cent and in Japan at 3.1 per cent respectively.

Other factors include the government’s nationwide Bt300 minimum wage, causing higher production costs and lowering competitive priicing ability, as well as lowering agricultural prices in the world market, and the tendency to strengthen the baht.

The centre director said rice will be the most affected export, for its prices are still higher than other countries, followed by ready-to-wear clothes, which due to higher salaries and a shortage of labour have become issues for entrepreneurs, and the frozen and processed prawn industry.

However, Dr Aat said ASEAN and other Asian countries remain Thailand’s export markets, where export growth is likely to grow 8 and 5 per cent respectively.