April export gain likely more than 10%
Thai exports are maintaining healthy growth momentum and likely increased by more than 10% in April, says Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.
Mr Jurin revealed on Friday the country's exports have passed the low point, with outbound shipments increasing by more than 10% in April from US$18.9 billion (593 billion baht) fetched the same month last year.
The ministry is scheduled to announce April's export figures on Tuesday.
"Thailand's exports in the first four months are expected to rise by more than 4% year-on-year," said Mr Jurin. "Commercial ambassadors worldwide have been ordered to work harder to drive export growth to 8-11% this year."
He said the ministry will soon call a joint meeting with the private sector and commercial ambassadors to review the country's export target.
At the end of last year, the ministry set an export growth target of 4% in 2021.
"Exports are an important engine to drive the Thai economy in addition to domestic consumption, while the tourism sector remains trapped by the pandemic," said Mr Jurin.
Thai exports fetched more than $20 billion for a second consecutive month in March, rising by 8.47% to $24.2 billion after $20.2 billion year-on-year in February.
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.
Exports from the real sector (excluding gold, oil and weaponry) continued to soar, up 12% in March and 7.61% in the first quarter.
He said the ministry pledged to work together with the private sector, including the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to resolve export obstacles, especially container shortages.
The ministry also vowed to boost border trade to help increase overall exports.
In a related development, Poj Aramwatananon, chairman of ICC, met the commerce minister on Thursday and said Thai exports should grow by 5-6% this year.
"In fact, Thai exports could fare better than the results in the first few months, but shippers still face a container shortage," Mr Poj said, also a vice-chairman for the Thai Board of Trade. "Thailand could see a significant increase in exports, particularly for products based on local contents such as agricultural and processed agricultural products and food, if container shortages are settled."