Use of FTA privileges, GSP see hefty surge in 2021

Use of FTA privileges, GSP see hefty surge in 2021

Shipment containers are sorted at Klong Toey Port on Thursday. Outbound shipments under the GSP amounted to $3.61 billion in 2021. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Shipment containers are sorted at Klong Toey Port on Thursday. Outbound shipments under the GSP amounted to $3.61 billion in 2021. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The use of free trade agreement (FTA) privileges and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) by Thai exporters surged 31.4% and 28.1%, respectively, in 2021, mainly attributed to higher demand.

The Foreign Trade Department reported yesterday the use of FTA privileges by Thai exporters tallied US$76.3 billion in 2021, the highest in six years. Outbound shipments under the GSP amounted to $3.61 billion.

Pitak Udomwichaiwat, director-general of the department, said the utilisation rate of the FTA privileges was equivalent to 78.2% last year, up from 76.5% in 2020.

Under 14 FTAs Thailand has with 18 countries, the highest use of FTA privileges stemmed from Asean ($26.3 billion, up 35.9% from 2020), followed by China ($25.3 billion, up 33.2%), Japan ($6.69 billion, up 8.49%), Australia ($6.15 billion, up 23.2%) and India ($523 million, up 19.9%).

The top five products using FTA privileges were trucks with a weight not exceeding five tonnes, fresh durian, passenger cars with 2,500cc engines, natural synthetic rubber products, and chicken meat and offal.

The import value under FTA privileges in 2021 rose 28.5% to $44.9 billion.

Imported products that posted the highest privilege usage had China at the top, with a value of $18.5 billion, mainly for steel, construction, apples, wheels and parts, and copper tubes and pipes; followed by Asean at $11.0 billion, mainly for flavoured food, corn, cassava, TVs, and pure copper wires; then Japan valued at $9.63 billion, mainly for steel and reagents, steering wheels, steering shafts and gearboxes.

Mr Pitak said the department is monitoring privilege usage under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact that started earlier this year.

Regarding GSP privilege usage, Mr Pitak said shipments under the scheme with four countries -- the US, Switzerland, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Norway -- stood at $3.61 billion in 2021.

The US retained the highest rate of GSP use by Thai exporters, tallying $3.31 billion, up 31.7% from the previous year, and representing 91.8% of the GSP privilege usage.

Switzerland came second valued at $260 million, followed by Russia and CIS totalling $20.9 million, then Norway at $15.1 million.

Products that saw the highest privilege usage were rubber gloves, processed food, components for air conditioners, processed food, citric acid, glasses and optical glass.

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