Handicraft exports enjoy uplift as demand recovers
Thailand's handicraft exports are expected to grow by nearly 20% this year, driven by increasing demand for silverware, goldware and ornaments.
Pornpon Akathaporn, acting chief executive officer of the Sustainable Arts and Crafts Institute of Thailand (SACIT), said export prospects for Thai arts and crafts products in the year to come are also promising thanks to the global economic recovery and higher international demand.
In the first seven months of 2021, outbound shipments of Thai handicrafts recorded growth of 18.4% to 146.72 billion baht compared with the same period last year.
The biggest export market for craft products was the United States, delivering 47.9 billion baht, followed by Japan worth 10.5 billion baht, Germany worth 10.4 billion baht, Hong Kong worth 6.98 billion baht, the United Kingdom worth 6.27 billion baht, China worth 5.9 billion baht, Australia worth 4.82 billion baht, Vietnam worth 3.64 billion baht, Singapore worth 3.63 billion baht, and Switzerland worth 2.88 billion baht.
In July, Thai handicraft exports rose significantly by 28.9% to 23.2 billion baht from the same period last year, driven by rising global demand in line with the world's economic recovery. Products with the highest export value were silver and gold handicrafts, with a value of 11 billion baht, up 48.5% from the same period last year.
Other gainers were handicraft products; furniture and parts; sculptures and wooden ornaments; artificial flowers, leaves and plants; hand-woven fabrics, silk fabric and ceramic bowls.
Mr Pornpon said SACIT is developing a "Thai Crafts Online" scheme to sell Thai handicraft products via e-commerce and other platforms. It is also developing virtual trade exhibitions and online business matching events to boost exports.
SACIT is also committed to developing and upgrading local communities and new generations to become SMEs and start-ups in arts and crafts, under the "Smart Craft CEO" project to increase their capacity to produce items to meet consumer demand.