With exports remaining sluggish, the Commerce Ministry is devising targeted strategies to improve the situation next year.
The ministry’s International Trade Promotion Department will allocate the largest proportion of its trade-promotion budget for Asean markets, focusing on Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
Malee Choklumlerd, director-general of the department, said it had been allocated a budget of Bt2 billion for the upcoming fiscal year (October 2016 to September 2017), and up to 25 per cent would be spent on export-promotion activities in Asean countries, focusing on CLMV.
Asean member states are major trading partners of Thailand, with 25 per cent of Thai export value earned from this region.
The budget allocated to Asean countries will be spent to promote trade in services and goods, especially Thai brand names, organising trade fairs and trade missions, setting up promotions in department stores, and creating networks for Thai traders with local distributors.
The remaining budget will be allocated to other markets, including 25 per cent to East Asia and Oceania, 20 per cent to Western Europe, 10 per cent to the Americas, and 5 per cent each to South Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In addition, the International Trade Promotion Department will nominate Thai marketing representatives in many targeted markets.
Malee said the representatives would provide marketing strategies for Thai enterprises in response to local demand, while the government will be able to save the cost of setting up trade offices overseas.
At first, marketing representatives will be appointed for Lima in Peru, Ningxia in China, Hiroshima in Japan, Kolkata in India, and Sweden.
The department will spend about Bt20 million to Bt30 million on this project.
Next month, the department will invite representatives from the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai National Shippers Council and the Thai Bankers Association to a meeting in Bangkok with Thai trade officials posted overseas, to discuss export strategies, address trade obstacles and seek solutions.
The meeting is scheduled to be held during the September 7-11 “Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair” at Impact Muang Thong Thani.
Meanwhile, the National Food Institute expects the export of Thai foods to grow by 7 per cent this year to Bt972 billion, higher than the previous estimate of 5.6-per-cent expansion.
The more optimistic forecast is due to high demand but low supply in the world market, along with better confidence for the fishery industry after Thailand was upgraded to Tier 2 Watch List in the US State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons Report”.
In the first half of this year, the value of food exports rose 9.9 per cent to Bt474.84 billion on a low supply of agricultural goods worldwide due to drought.