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Economy May 21, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Govt-private trade meeting postponed

The Commerce Ministry’s International Trade Promotion Department yesterday postponed a meeting with private enterprises that had been scheduled to discuss this year’s export target. 
The session was put off over concerns that the Army’s declaration of martial law would make transport inconvenient.
Nuntawan Sunkuntanaga, director-general of the department, said that despite the delay, it had gone ahead with its meeting with trade counsellors who had been meant to hold talks with business representatives before the postponement.
The department is also going ahead with “Thaifex 2014”, the largest international food fair in Thailand, which is projected to draw about 25,000 Thai and international visitors. 
The three-day event opens today at Bangkok’s Impact Exhibition Centre.
Nuntawan said her agency would order the Kingdom’s overseas trade counsellors to explain the current situation urgently to foreign traders. Trade activities and the manufacturing sector should continue to operate as normal. The export sector should not suffer any negative impacts from the martial law, she said.
PEA worries about electricity security  
The Provincial Electricity Authority is concerned that the delay of the formation of a new government authorised to approve its five-year (2013-16) investment plan will affect national electricity security in 2017, said its deputy governor for planning and system development, Suwat Chiochanchai.
The state agency is waiting for the new government to approve its plan to invest Bt130 billion to enhance electricity security to cater to rising demand. 
The plan has been approved by the National Economic and Social Development Board.
Tuna exports flourish, revenue hits Bt86 bn 
The Thai Tuna Industry Association (TTIA), comprising 16 large tuna processors and exporters, says Thailand retained its status as the world’s No 1 tuna processing and exporting country last year with overall export revenue of Bt86 billion. 
Products under the guidance of the TTIA are canned tuna, frozen cooked tuna loin, and tuna-derived pet food, said Dr Chanintr Chalisarapong, president of the association.
Thailand exports tuna products to more than 200 countries and territories and has enjoyed average year-on-year growth of 5-10 per cent for more than a decade. The two product champions are canned tuna and tuna loins, with a total combined export volume of more than 550,832 tonnes, earning more than Bt80.05 billion in export revenue in 2013. 
The largest market for Thai tuna is the United States, accounting for 19 per cent of the global market share or Bt15.57 billion worth. 
The key reason for the industry’s continuous growth is that processed tuna products can be readily and conveniently consumed by consumers worldwide, especially in developed countries, thanks to the convenience of purchasing and storing them.