DESPITE OF A slowdown in September’s exports, the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Thailand) is confident that Thailand’s export will grow 8 per cent this year as expected, indicating Thai business operators’ ability to adjust with global situations.
Next year’s export growth is forecast at 4.5 per cent due to this year’s high base.
Pisit Serewiwattana, president of Exim Thailand, said that September’s Thai export slowdown as a result of last year’s high base came as expected earlier as the bank forecast a slowdown in the latter half of this year amidst concerns over the US-China trade war.
Meanwhile, new destinations, increased product value in four main industries – automobiles, electronics, machinery and oil-related products and both large- and small-sized Thai exports’ ability for short-term adjustment will help drive Thai export, he said.
In the medium to long term, he said that negotiations over principles of international trade will need follow-up in each country for Thai exporters and, then, adjustment will be needed.
“Now, portfolios of the bank’s customers have not yet been affected by the US-China trade war. Exporters have still adjusted themselves well in the short term. We’ve promoted them to expand markets to new destinations particularly CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam), Africa, India, China and Canada. There has been faster adjustment than investment which needs some time,” he said.
Exim Thailand still maintains its loan growth target at 10 per cent and a target for outstanding loans at Bt100 billion this year.
In the first nine month of this year, the bank’s outstanding loan increased 12 per cent year-on-year to Bt96 billion. Next year’s outstanding loan is expected to grow no less than 10 per cent and new loan is expected to rise Bt11 billion.
The bank’s non-performing loan (NPL) stood at 3.65 per cent of total outstanding loan for the first nine months of this year. The bank has tried to control NPL at no more than 4 per cent or about 3.7-3.8 per cent of total outstanding loan, Pisit said.
As global volatility has heightened, Thai exporters have confronted more risks spaning from the trade war, money-market volatility, political conflicts and natural disasters which could affect foreign buyers with payment default, he said.
Recently, the bank has cooperated with Export Development Canada (EDC) to promote and increase trade value between Thailand and Canada, launching Exim IBD Global as revolving loan after export for SMEs. The maximum loan amount is Bt40 million.
In the first year, Exim Thailand targets to extend Bt1 billion of such loan or about Bt10-Bt20 million per customer for 50-100 customers.