Thailand set ambitious goal as logistics springboard to China, India


BANGKOK, Oct 14 – The Commerce Ministry is working on a plan to upgrade Thailand as the central logistics hub connecting Southeast Asia with China and India, a senior ministry official said.

Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the Commerce Ministry and the private sector have collaborated in setting Thailand’s 2020 vision to develop the country’s logistics system in order to boost trade, investment and export opportunities.

The major objectives are to improve efficiency for speedy delivery, the physical flow of products, information flow, value added business activities relating to market demand, reducing cargo handling and carriage costs, and increasing core competitiveness.

Thailand is geographically Southeast Asia’s transport centre with long coastlines, diverse business operators, land and air infrastructure availability, local entrepreneurs’ skills in domestic service and businessmen’s collaboration as a logistics federation, she said.

She said Thailand’s strength would contribute to improved transport services, particularly with road accessibility and train services linking the kingdom’s North, South, East and West.

Thailand is a suitable window to South China and ready for the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 when goods, capital, labour forces and transport networks will be connected, said Ms Nantawan.

She said the government has as a national agenda priority the development of Thailand’s competitive edge, despite an urgent need to speed improvement on human resources and reduced logistics costs.

Thailand’s logistics capability is lower than Malaysia and Singapore, she admitted, and Thailand is currently ranked third in Southeast Asia on the capital cost for transport of goods to overseas markets.

It is necessary to develop the transport system to elevate Thailand as a supply chain centre, connecting to China and India – the world’s major and significant markets, she said.