Somkid sees 10% export growth

Somkid sees 10% export growth

Strong November figure lifts confidence

Mr Somkid says exports rose 13.4% in November. Taweechai Tawatpakorn
Mr Somkid says exports rose 13.4% in November. Taweechai Tawatpakorn

Export growth this year is expected to reach 10% as the figure for November increased 13.4% year-on-year, well above expectations, which should push the year-end tally to beat projections, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

He said exports in November were US$21 billion (688 billion baht), making total exports for the first 11 months grow 10%.

That rate is higher than the previous forecast of 5-8% export growth set by the Commerce Ministry and other agencies.

"This figure makes us confident exports will grow as high as 10% this year," said Mr Somkid.

The latest figure released by the Commerce Ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office shows exports totalled $20.1 billion in October, up 13.1% year-on-year, while the 10-month figure reached $195.5 billion, up 9.7% year-on-year.

He assigned the ministry to work harder on maintaining the rising export momentum next year through support policies, particularly seeking new trade partners and trying to benefit more from free trade agreements.

"We should focus more on trade negotiations to get more strategic partners. We should also have more bilateral trade talks so we can benefit from them," said Mr Somkid.

He said the Commerce Ministry should focus more on major trade partners in Asia, particularly China, Japan, India and Asean, where demand and purchasing power are increasing.

The ministry has planned a trade mission to Hong Kong and China soon to work on trade negotiations that will lead to higher exports and promote Thailand's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to new investors, said Mr Somkid.

Thailand should use more online marketing plans to promote Thai goods via e-commerce as the platform is growing substantially, capitalising on strong demand as consumers switch from offline.

Speaking during his official visit to the Commerce Ministry yesterday, Mr Somkid also mentioned other tasks for the ministry, including controlling farm product prices.

He said the ministry should work closely with the Agriculture Ministry to find ways to prop up falling crop prices, particularly rubber, which has fallen more than 100% from the record high of 180 baht per kilogramme to around 45-50 baht per kg.

Mr Somkid said the Commerce Ministry could include rubber on the price control list, which allows it to keep retail prices fixed to prevent them from falling further.

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