Farm products go on tour

Farm products go on tour

In a last-ditch effort to boost shipments of farm and bioplastic products in what remains of the year, the Commerce Ministry is scheduled to hold a business matching event on Nov 20 for Thai companies.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit plans to lead Thai businesses to Turkey and Germany during Nov 15-19 to sell rubber and rubber products, food products, tapioca and seasonings.

Yesterday, Mr Jurin said more than 180 foreign companies from China, Japan, South Korea, Asean, the Middle East, EU, the US, Africa and Asia will join the event for farm products, fruit and bioplastics with more than 200 Thai companies on Nov 20. The ministry expects the event to generate sales of 2.8 billion baht.

Mr Jurin said the ministry is also scheduled to promote Thai medical products made of rubber at the MEDICA 2019 fair from Nov 18-21 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The minister assigned directors of Thai trade centres overseas to design export promotion plans for rice, fruit and rubber products in secondary cities or states in China and India. At the beginning of 2020, the International Trade Promotion Department also plans to promote Thai agricultural products at Bangalore and Hyderabad in India.

Yesterday the Foreign Trade Department reported the use of free trade agreement (FTA) privileges and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) by Thai exporters dropped by 3.3% to US$45.2 billion in the first eight months of the year.

The drop was attributed largely to the impact of the prolonged trade war, the weak economies of Thailand's key trading partners and the strong baht.

Keerati Rushchano, acting director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said lower values for the use of trade privileges were in line with the country's drop in exports in the first eight months, down 2.2% from the same period last year.

Mr Keerati said the top five export markets with the highest use of FTA privileges were Asean, China, Australia, Japan and India.

The Thai-Asean FTA continued to see the highest volume, totalling $16.6 billion during the first eight months, with the Thai-China FTA tallying $12.6 billion and Thai-Australia privilege use amounting to $5.39 billion.

The values for Thai-Japan and Thai-India FTAs totalled $5.1 billion and $3.01 billion, respectively.

In growth terms, the Thai-Peru FTA saw the highest increase in use at 22.4%, followed by New Zealand at 7.88% and China at 5.78%.

Mr Keerati said the top five items that used FTA privileges were trucks; fresh durian; natural rubber mixed with synthetic rubber products; fruit such as guava, mango and fresh and dried mangosteen; and sugar. Thailand has 12 FTAs in place, excluding the Asean-Hong Kong FTA that took effect on June 11 this year.

The GSP is used for trade with the US, Switzerland, Russia and Norway. Detailed figures were not disclosed.

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