AMID the escalating US-China trade war, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said an export growth target of 8 per cent has been set for next year, while Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said Thailand plans to produce for export products affected by the trade spat.
Chairing a meeting with the executive directors of Thai trade centres overseas and the private sector yesterday, Somkid said the Ministry of Commerce has estimated an 8 per cent growth in next year's exports with US$276 billion in total value, He asked all parties to deepen cooperation in push for Thai export expansion amid the US-China tensions and the global economic uncertainties.
As trade opportunities for Thailand exist in both China and the United States, Somkid asked Thai trade centres to plan ahead with studies and list products with export potential to 11 provinces in China.
In the meantime, the Board of Trade of Thailand has also been asked for a clustering of 10 Thai private corporates for the purpose of acquiring retail businesses or outlets for distribution of Thai products in the United States.
In Asean, Thailand needs to leverage the cooperation of CLMVT (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand) for a link up with China and Japan, while the country need to become a member of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Somkid has also told all Thai trade centres to ask for additional workforce and funding if needed, while encouraging them to use e-commerce to penetrate overseas markets.
Currency volatility, appreciation of the Thai baht and higher global crude prices will likely occur next year, he warned.
Commerce Minister Sontirat said this year's export is expected to expand as targeted at 8 per cent and next year's estimated growth figure will also be 8 per cent.
The trade war coud have a positive impact on Thailand if the country can devise a strategy to boost the exports of products affected by the trade war.
Thailand plans to attract two product groups, electronics and textile which could not be exported from China to the US, to relocate their manufacturing bases to Thailand, he said.