Thai export is expected to grow 6.3 per cent this year on the back of likely consistent global economic expansion, expected improvement of US purchasing power and domestic investment as a result of the US tax reform, the US upgrade of Thailand to "Watch List" and the European Union's recent decision to restore political contacts with Thailand.
Aat Pisawanich, director of Centre for International Trade Studies at University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that, based on a recent study, Thai export is forecast to rise 6.3 per cent to US$252.56 billion, a third straight rise from 2016 but at a slower level from last year's.
At the best case for continued robust expansion of the global economy, particularly China and developed economies, Thai export growth could reach 7.9 per cent this year, he said.
Meanwhile, risks exist with the United States' consideration to use trade measures to respond the countries the US has faced trade deficits with.
In regard to the baht, a researcher at the centre said that the baht is forecast at 31.8 per US dollar on average in 2018, a record high in five years.
"The baht appreciation would not affect export. However, if the baht depreciates more than its regional peers and trade partners and the global crude prices rise, boosting costs with the US interest rate's hikes which may affect the Thai currency, these will be negative to Thai exports," she said.
Aat said, "The issue that should be monitored is that Thai export rises in value but its shares decline in its export destination particularly in the US as Vietnam has made aggressive move in its export of products. Vietnam has taken development of products and quality with lower prices."