The cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to sign a protocol on quarantine and inspection of exported and imported fruit via a third country between Thailand and China, aiming to increase bilateral fruit shipments.
Rachada Dhnadirek, a deputy government spokeswoman, said the protocol will allow Thailand to export fruit through more border checkpoints in China and Thai exporters can use transport routes to address problems and facilitate shipments.
The protocol will be officially signed by the Thai Agricultural and Cooperatives Ministry and the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) after the pandemic eases.
Thailand exports fruit through four border checkpoints: Mohan, Youyi Guan, Dongxing and the Pingxiang border gate.
China unofficially opened the latter two border checkpoints for the transport of Thai fruit in late April after the Thai Agriculture Department and the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards held talks with the GACC in search of a solution to the border traffic problem.
The pandemic forced the closure of Chinese-Vietnamese border crossings in Guangxi, which caused fruit transport trucks, including those from Thailand, to divert to the Youyi Guan checkpoint.
There were reports that the border closure left a tailback stretching 15 kilometres. The delayed transport spoiled the fruit, with durian ripening before hitting the shelves.
The opening of the new border channels should help relieve traffic congestion at the Youyi Guan border checkpoint and facilitate Thai fruit exports, said Ms Rachada.
According to Commerce Ministry data, China bought 57.1% of Thai fresh, frozen and dried fruit shipments last year, generating 64.5 billion baht in export income.
The Thai Fresh Fruit Traders and Exporters Association forecasts the export value of fruit will grow by at least 10% this year from 113 billion baht last year, as international demand, including from China, remains strong despite the outbreak.