The Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) is helping Thai exporters to minimize taxes and tariffs, after the Kingdom saw a surge in the number of free trade agreement (FTA) applications from local businesses in 2021.
The Department of Foreign Trade reported a 6-year high growth in the number of applications from local companies to leverage FTAs and preferential tariffs on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in 2021. DFT Director-General Pitak Udomwichaiwat said the combined value of FTA leverages in the export sector was recorded at US$76.3 billion last year, a 31.4% growth year-on-year.
Businesses leveraging FTA benefits mostly sell their products to Southeast Asian markets, followed by China, Australia, Japan and India. Automobiles, fruits, air conditioners and chicken meat were key products to those markets.
The United States was the main market for GSP products with a 91.82% share. Key products included rubber gloves and air conditioners.
The DFT said the U.S. Congress was reviewing new criteria for countries eligible for GSP benefits. The criteria will include the environmental aspect and labor welfare.
The DFT chief said the value of international trade activities that leverage FTAs and GSP is expected to grow even further this year, thanks to the ratifying of existing FTAs among members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Pitak said his department now provides consultation services to businesses looking to take advantage of FTAs and other agreements Thailand has with its trading partners.(NNT)