The Thai durian is still a market leader in China, due to the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, and FTAs have also helped Thailand gain an advantage in other international markets.
Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) Director-General Auramon Supthaweethum said the export of Thailand’s “king of fruits” in the first quarter of this year to China was worth US$186 million (THB5.8 billion), up 14% year on year, followed by Hong Kong ($14 million) and Vietnam ($10 million).
Apart from the nine ASEAN countries, import tariffs on Thai durian have also been waived in China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Chile and Peru. Under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, Thailand can ask South Korea to gradually reduce import tariffs on durian to zero.
She said this is a perfect opportunity for Thai farmers and entrepreneurs to offer a larger variety of products for export. They must, however, ensure products are developed in line with international standards, without using chemicals or pesticides. (NNT)