The Nation



Global recovery to boost Thai exports by 5% next year, ministry says

The Commerce Ministry is forecasting export growth of 5 per cent in the new year, based on brighter prospects of a recovering global economy, despite some concerns over the domestic political mess and higher costs of production.

"Thai shipments should show clear signs of recovering next year as many key trading partners, especially the United States and the European Union, have recovered growth," said Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department.

"Stronger growth in China should also help increase Thai shipments as it orders many raw materials and goods, both as parts for its own exports and for domestic consumption."

As for this year, however, the ministry expects export growth of only 0.5-1 per cent, hit by the sluggish global economy and dropping demand in many markets, including China.

Nuntawan said exports should return to being an economic driver next year. Many countries will have stronger demand for goods to support their economic recoveries.

However, there will still be some worrying factors that could affect exports in 2014, including fluctuating exchange rates and crop prices, which have dropped this year.

Also, the political conflict in the country could frighten off foreign importers from next year's international trade fairs that are to be held in Thailand. The department hopes the conflict will end soon so that it will not affect orders from importers or drag down the number of foreign traders visiting the country in 2014.

To promote the export segment, the department says it will cooperate with private enterprises in each market sector. It has been allocated Bt2.3 billion for many activities both domestically and overseas to promote exports during the 2014 fiscal year.

Products that are expected to see higher export value next year are electronic goods, automobiles and parts, air-conditioners, electrical appliances, and textiles.

Shipments of agricultural and food products should also recover next year as the supply of shrimp is expected to be higher, crop prices should rise, and enterprises are focusing more on value-added products.

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