Commerce plans export promotions

Commerce plans export promotions

The Commerce Ministry looks set to organise 152 export promotional activities and ramp up mini free trade agreements (mini-FTAs) with potential trading partners to stimulate export growth of 3-4% this year.

Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the ministry aims to drive export promotional activities both offline and online in traditional, secondary and new markets using 152 activities.

These activities include online business matching events for targeted products such as rice, cassava, chicken, rubber, medical equipment, halal food, fashion, lifestyle, animal feed, gems and jewellery.

The ministry is scheduled to organise trade fairs in Thailand through virtual/online exhibitions such as THAIFEX ANUGA Asia, Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair and the Thailand International Logistics Fair.

In addition, promotional activities are planned for products for hotels, restaurants and spas, and good and services for catering businesses.

Public relations events on the image of Thai products such as food, food innovation, rice, digital and services and Thai fruit are scheduled in 13 Chinese cities, he said.

The ministry is committed to organising 56 promotional activities for agricultural products, food, beverages, and food services through trade fairs, business matching events, and sales promotion events at department stores, said Mr Phusit.

He said another emphasis for the department is promoting shipments of bio-, circular and green products, as well as upgrading small and medium-sized enterprises and community product producers to become exporters through training programmes and seminars.

"The department instructed commercial ambassadors abroad to closely monitor the impact of the Omicron variant and Covid-19 protection measures being applied by trading partners to evaluate their impact on Thai exports. If there are any obstacles, the commercial ambassadors will report them immediately," said Mr Phusit.

"Ambassadors are expected to boost confidence among importers about the quality, standard and Covid-19 prevention protocols for Thai products."

He said the department also plans to accelerate talks for mini-FTAs with potential partners and expects to sign a memorandum of understanding with Telangana, India in the first quarter.

Other areas with potential for mini-FTAs include Gansu province, Shanghai, Shenzhen in China, Busan in South Korea, Abuja in Nigeria and Johannesburg in South Africa, said Mr Phusit.

He acknowledged exports may expand at a slower pace in the first half this year because of the impact of Omicron, with prospects expected to improve in the second half.

Export growth is likely to tally 3-4% this year, at 8.98-9.07 trillion baht or US$280 billion, down from a projection of 16% growth in 2021, said Mr Phusit.

Supporting factors include trading partners' economic recovery, the weakening baht, high oil prices that increase the value of oil-related export products, and the positive impact of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which started this year.

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