Export prospects brighten on friendlier US policies
Thailand's exports to the US look more promising thanks to the friendlier trade policies of new US President Joe Biden.
Somdet Susomboon, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the trade policies of the new US president are expected to boost trade not only between the US and Thailand, but also the US and other Asian countries.
"With friendlier trade policies, we expect not only trade cooperation, but also investments between US and Thai businesses both in Thailand and in the US," he said.
"Thailand is expected to benefit more from exports substituting for products from China, where the US still maintains tariffs for imports."
Mr Somdet said the department expects exports to the US to grow by 4% this year, with potential products including ready-to-eat food, food supplements, work-at-home products such as furniture, home decoration, gardening materials, pet products, electrical appliances, electronics, fitness equipment, games and home entertainment, and personal protective products.
Export promotion activities in the US will focus on agricultural and processed agricultural products such as processed food, organic products, rice, fruit and herbs through online platforms, entertainment and startups, he said.
The Commerce Ministry plans to attend furniture and home decor fairs in the US, and a virtual trade show for food products, medical appliances, electronics, gems and jewellery.
According to Mr Somdet, his department plans to establish the TOPTHAI Flagship store on Amazon.com, and beef up promotion for Thai products and the Thai Select seal among millennial and Gen Z consumers using social influencers.
Thai Select is part of the Thai Kitchen World Cuisine programme introduced in 2006 to capitalise on the global popularity of Thai cuisine.
He said the department is still monitoring the impact of certain US policies, particularly plans to reduce foreign dependence by strengthening domestic industries such as pharmaceuticals and high-tech products. Other policies include a possible relocation of production back to the US to support a "Buy America" plan as well as easing of trade war tensions.
Mr Somdet said Thailand must be aware of non-tariff measures that could affect the country's automotive and parts industry based on US environmental policy as well as electric cars.
The relocation of production bases to Thailand may decrease after trade war tensions wane, he said.
US fiscal policy is also expected to affect the value of the greenback and baht in the future.