BANGKOK – The Ministry of Commerce has indicated that the isolation of Qatar by its neighboring countries could affect exports of some Thai products.
Ms Pimchanok Vonkorpon, Director-General of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, Ministry of Commerce, gave her view on the Thai export situation following many Arab states’ decision to sever ties with Qatar and ban all travel to and from the country. She admitted the incident could have an impact on some products exported to Qatar, such as automobiles, air conditioners and refrigerators, as their shipping costs might be driven up.
Nonetheless, the Director-General gave assurances that such products as gems and jewelry and fresh produce that are transported by air will not be affected. She even cited the current food shortage in Qatar as a golden opportunity for Thai exporters of vegetables and fruits while urging them to study trade regulations and procedures carefully beforehand.
As for concerns that the tensions in the Middle East would lead to a rise in oil prices, Ms Pimchanok revealed that there has been no clear indication of such impact and recommended that oil prices be closely monitored during this period. For the time being, she said her office is maintaining its oil price estimate for the entire year at between 50 and 60 US dollars per barrel.