Trade chief promotes blitz

Trade chief promotes blitz

Over 50 export activities planned

Somdet Susomboon, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department.
Somdet Susomboon, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department.

The new chief of the International Trade Promotion Department vows to beef up roadshows from October to December to boost exports.

Somdet Susomboon, the acting director-general, said the department is scheduled to hold more than 50 export promotion activities, including business matching programmes, trade fairs and online shopping platforms in China, the US, Asean, Japan, Europe, Russia, India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Mr Somdet replaced Banjongjitt Angsusingh, who retired at the end of September. His official promotion will become effective after royal endorsement.

The export promotion in the final three months, which mark the start of the country's fiscal 2020, will focus not only on products but also services including One Tambon One Product items, garments, gems and jewellery, construction, animation and digital content.

The export strategy maintains a focus on traditional markets such as the US, Europe, Japan, Asean and China, but adds new markets like India, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

The department is committed to reviving old export markets such as Iraq for rice and developing logistics services in the United Arab Emirates.

The department also wants to establish Thai Mart to distribute Thai products in Bahrain.

Mr Somdet said the planned export promotion activities include Style Bangkok 2019 (Oct 17-21), a sourcing forum in Bangkok (Nov 20-22) and the Thai Fruit Fair in Nanning, China (Oct 25-26).

The department will also lead Thai entrepreneurs to participate in the China International Import Expo in Shanghai (Nov 4-6) and American Film Market 2019 (Nov 6-13).

In Asean, Thailand expects to organise the top Thai brands trade fairs to introduce Thai products to the region. It is also planning mini-Thailand week events in major and secondary cities in the region to promote Thai rice, flour, vegetables, fruit, rubber products, food and beverages, hotels, construction, event organisation and content businesses.

For the first eight months, exports fell 2.2% year-on-year to US$166 billion, with imports down 3.6% at $160 billion, for a surplus of $6.10 billion.

The drop was largely attributed to the prolonged Sino-US trade dispute, the global economic slowdown, and baht appreciation.

Despite the dip thus far, the Commerce Ministry is maintaining its export growth target at 3% this year. Thailand's export value rose 6.9% year-on-year in 2018 to $253 billion.

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