Draft panel for five-year trade tactics

Draft panel for five-year trade tactics

Policies for overseas offices on the way

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has ordered a panel to be established to work on the country's strategic trade plans for 2021-25 to cope with the crisis and ensuing recovery.

Speaking after outlining his 2021 trade policies to senior ministry officials, Mr Jurin said he assigned the commerce permanent secretary to chair the panel, which includes representatives from related government agencies and private sectors to draft Thailand's five-year trade strategies.

"The new five-year trade strategic plan is a part of a 14-pronged strategy the ministry aims for this year," said Mr Jurin.

They include the continuation of the farm price guarantee scheme to help farmers have sufficient income for production costs; discount campaigns to lower people's living costs; and online sales support for Thai entrepreneurs.

The ministry is also committed to continuing to build up provincial sales teams led by provincial commerce officers to create a network and provide online knowledge for local producers while developing market potential for service sectors including retail and wholesale, smart traditional retail shops, logistics, healthcare, digital content, restaurants and printing.

Provincial commercial officers should function as merchants in contacting and coordinating with local businesses and communities to develop trade opportunities, resulting in increased income for locals.

Mr Jurin recently threatened to move Thai commercial counsellors in foreign countries back to Thailand if they fail to function as salespeople to boost shipments and tackle hurdles for exports.

Working policies for all directors in the Office of Thai Trade Centers and commercial counsellors in 58 offices around the world are being prepared, aiming to promote Thai exports despite the pandemic.

According to Mr Jurin, in addition to acting as the country's salespeople, the commercial counsellors have to provide assistance to exporters in reducing obstacles and offer smart advice to better tap into markets.

According to Mr Jurin, this year the ministry will concentrate more on stimulating border trade and accelerate free trade agreement talks, especially with Europe, Britain, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the European Free Trade Association (Efta).

The EAEU consists of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, while Efta comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The government will also speed up the parliamentary ratification for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact, said Mr Jurin.

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