Border trade slows down due to global economic woes

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Adul Chotinisakorn, Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade.
Adul Chotinisakorn, Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade.

Bangkok – Trade growth in Thailand’s border areas has slowed down due to the struggling global economy and the ongoing trade war between China and the United States of America. In the first eight months of this year, Thailand’s border trade was valued at 915 billion baht, up by only 0.07%.

The Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade, Adul Chotinisakorn, said Thailand’s border trade with four neighboring countries accounted for 720 billion baht, down by 1.16%. Malaysia, one of Thailand’s top trading partners, saw its trade value drop by 4.78%. Thailand’s exports of para rubber, rubber products and combustion engines to Malaysia continued to contract. The bilateral trade value between Thailand and Laos also contracted. However, Thailand’s trade figures with Myanmar and Cambodia still experienced growth.

Thailand’s cross-border trade with the three countries tallied 180 billion baht, up by 5.24%.

The bilateral trade with southern China was valued at 88 billion baht, up by 37.83%. However, Thailand’s trade with Vietnam and Singapore experienced a slowdown.

Key factors contributing to the Thai economy included the global economic slowdown and the baht’s appreciation. Weakening currencies of neighboring countries had also dampened Thailand’s competitiveness. As a result, the government’s projected border and transit trade of 1.6 trillion baht this year might not be achieved, but the amount should not be lower than 1.4 trillion baht, thanks to the government’s efforts to reduce obstacles to border trade.