The International Trade Promotion Department is set on hosting more virtual trade fairs and online business activities in order to boost the country's exports in the second half of the year.
According to Somdet Susomboon, the department's director-general, the agency is preparing a schedule of more than 30 virtual trade fairs and online business activities this year mainly in the second half to boost exports by more than 4%.
"We are optimistic that Thailand's export prospects in the second half will fare better than the first half, driven by a recovering global economy and economic growth in major trading countries such as China, the United States, Japan and Europe," he said. "As a result of Covid-19 vaccine distributions worldwide, consumers will have more confidence in engaging in economic activity and this will drive the world's economic recovery."
According to Mr Somdet, three main product categories -- food, work-from-home, and medical and health products such as rubber gloves and medical supplies -- will see continued growth in the export markets.
During Covid-19 outbreaks, Mr Somdet said his department adjusted the export promotional plan by shifting from physical trade shows to virtual and online business and e-commerce.
The department began the transition with the World International Direct Export (WIDE), an online live event held on April 28 to help Thai food and agricultural product businesses sell their products internationally.
The department plans to hold similar events to cover other product categories including movies, animations, games, series, and soap operas so that they can sell their products to the export markets later this month.
Mr Somdet said the department is confident in achieving a 4% growth in export as planned, however, close monitoring is needed particularly regarding the impact of Covid -19 outbreaks, lingering container shortages, and higher transportation costs.
The Commerce Ministry reported on April 23 that Thai export value saw 8.47% year-on-year growth in March to US$24.2 billion (755.4 billion baht), driven by intensive economic stimulus policies in trading countries, global vaccinations and higher crude oil prices.
In the first quarter, Thai exports grew by 2.27% to $64.2 billion while imports rose by 9.37% to $63.6 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $516 million.