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Boonsong calls for early meet on agriculture, industry

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom yesterday called for a meeting early next month with operators in the agricultural and industrial sectors to discuss ways to tackle the baht's appreciation.



Srirat Rastapana, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the minister had asked the department to hold a meeting with operators making agricultural and industrial products in order to discuss the impact of the baht's appreciation and the government's relief measures for exports.

Thai export growth this year is targeted at 8-9 per cent, with shipments worth US$250 billion (Bt7.32 trillion).

"The department sees a high possibility for [achieving] the export target of 8-9 per cent, given a more stable baht. If relevant organisations monitor the baht closely and the unit does not appreciate further, a minimal impact on exports is expected. In May, the department will convene with commercial counsellors from across the world to revise the export target," Srirat said.

Risks to the export sector include the baht's strengthening, global oil prices, export market contraction, global trade and economy, domestic political problems, natural disasters and non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

The highest risk in the department's view is the baht's appreciation, which has begun to affect exports. However, there is expected to be only a short-term impact, said the agency chief. Other concerns include the increasing use of NTBs by other countries and long periods of negotiation for problem resolution.




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