Export drop brings decline in use of perks
The use of free trade agreement (FTA) privileges and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) by Thai exporters fell by 14.76% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2020, in line with the country's lower overall exports because of the pandemic.
Active utilisation of the privileges under the two schemes was seen particularly in food, beverage and processed agricultural products.
Keerati Rushchano, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said yesterday the use of privileges under FTAs and the GSP by exporters totalled US$45.60 billion between January and September.
Of the total, the use of FTA privileges contributed $42.33 billion in the first nine months, down 15.85% year-on-year, while shipments under the GSP made up $3.27 billion, up 2.44%.
The top five export markets with the most FTA privilege use were China ($14.44 billion), Asean ($13.63 billion), Japan ($4.85 billion), Australia ($4.76 billion) and India ($2.37 billion).
The top five FTAs that saw the highest utilisation of privileges were Thai-Chile FTA (100%), Asean-China FTA (91.27%), Thai-Peru FTA (86.49%), Thai-Japan FTA (82.24%) and the Asean-South Korea FTA (71.62%).
Products that availed highest privileges were fresh durian, synthetic rubber products mixed with natural rubber, fruits and trucks of up to five tonnes and air conditioners.
Thailand has 11 FTAs in place, excluding the Thailand-New Zealand FTA, which requires self-declaration for proof of origin, and the Asean-Hong Kong FTA, under which import tariffs on most of the products from Thailand were waived before the pact.
The Foreign Trade Department said the US retained the highest rate of GSP use, making up $2.9 billion, up 2.63%, followed by Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States ($202.22 million, down 2.30%), Switzerland ($238.96 million, down -0.19%), and Norway ($24.42 million, up 33.96%). Products with the highest application of GSP privileges were rubber gloves, processed food and air conditioner parts. Thai shipments to the US remained strong, even as 573 items were subject to GSP cuts by the US on April 25, 2020.