Thailand’s 2013 export growth: academic says 2%, minister says 4%

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BANGKOK, Oct 23 – A leading academic said that Thailand’s 2013 exports would grow only 2 per cent but the commerce minister insisted on a 4 per cent expansion.

Ath Pisalvanich, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) International Trade Studies Centre director, said he did not believe the annual export growth would reach 4 per cent given an average expansion of only 1 per cent in the first eight months of the year.

Exports in the final quarter will improve, thanks to more purchase orders and a better economic situation in the US, but Thailand must be cautious on capital volatility which could have an impact on the currency exchange rate, he said.

Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisarn stood firm that the country’s exports would increase by 4 per cent after positive economic signals from the US and the expanded exports of Thai products in Southeast Asian region in the last few years.

The Commerce Ministry has predicted an export growth at higher than 4 per cent next year in light of strengthened economies in the US, Europe and China.

A joint Thai public-private sector meeting, highlighted by the country’s significant export industrialists, is scheduled for November 4 to asses Thailand’s overall exports this year and next year.