The Finance Ministry, in collaboration with the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Rubber Authority of Thailand, has signed a letter of intent for the Capital Flow in Rubber Industrial Estate project to boost the international competitiveness of entrepreneurs in the rubber supply chain.
Exports of rubber and rubber products total more than 680 billion baht per year, with over 6 million people involved in the supply chain from upstream to downstream, including farmers.
The collaboration between the chamber, the Thai Board of Trade, the Rubber Authority of Thailand, the Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) and the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation aims to enable access to capital for entrepreneurs, especially small and medium-sized enterprises in the Thai rubber industry.
With a budget allocation of 2 billion baht in 2023, the funding is expected to increase the value of rubber and rubber products, opening up opportunities for Thai rubber to increase its share of the global market, said Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
The signing of this cooperation, which includes companies such as Thai Hua Rubber and Construction Products Co Ltd, will add value to Thai rubber, especially the use of rubber waste, said Mr Arkhom.
Chaichan Charoensuk, chairman of TNSC, said Thailand's exports of rubber as a raw material and rubber products totalled 500,000 tonnes last year, with domestic sales of about 1 million tonnes.
This year, Thai rubber exports are expected to grow by around 5%. In contrast, other industries are experiencing shipment contractions, namely electronic components, plastic resin, textiles and chemicals, as global demand falters.
"Even as consumers shift from conventional cars to electric vehicles, there is still demand for rubber as tyres are needed," Mr Chaichan said.
According to the Commerce Ministry, Thailand is the world's top rubber exporter and ranks fourth for exports of rubber products.
In 2021, Thailand's exports of rubber and rubber products totalled US$20 billion, an increase of 28.3% from the previous year. The major export markets are the US, China, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.