THE total value of Thailand’s cross-border trade, including transit trade, edged up 0.92 per cent year on year to Bt219.48 billion in the first two months of this year with the full year target set at Bt1.6 trillion, a 15-per cent growth from 2018 , according to the Department of Foreign Trade.
Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of the department, said that of the two-month total, border exports declined 1.94 per cent to Bt121.27 billion while border imports rose 4.69 per cent to Bt98.21 billion, resulting in a surplus of Bt23.06 billion.
Thailand’s border trade with its four neighbouring countries dropped 1.65 per cent to a total of Bt178.88 billion with exports making up Bt101.33 billion, down 3.63 per cent while imports rose 1.06 per cent to Bt77.55 billion.
Malaysia was Thailand’s largest border trade partner, posting a total of Bt88.67 billion, followed by Laos (Bt31.74 billion), Myanmar (Bt31.18 billion), and Cambodia (Bt27.28 billion).
Transit trade with southern China, Vietnam and Singapore increased 14.06 per cent to Bt40.61 billion with exports rising 7.67 per cent to Bt19.95 billion and imports surging 21 per cent to Bt20.66 billion.
Thailand’s transit trade to southern China fetched the highest value at Bt16.81 billion with the highest growth of 55.99 per cent, followed by Vietnam at Bt12.86 billion and Singapore Bt10.94 billion.
The department expected all cross-border trade to expand further, supported by Thailand’s neighbouring countries’ measures to facilitate trade and reduce trade obstacles, the department’s Young Entrepreneur Network Development Programme, and its planned cross-border trade exhibitions in Narathiwat in late April and Tak in early June.
Malaysia’s business centre, IMT-GT Plaza, is currently under construction at Bukit Bunga, close to the Thailand-Malaysia border. The project is scheduled for completion in July this year.
Meanwhile, Cambodia has set up a joint committee for Thailand-Cambodia cross border trade to promote and facilitate both countries’ products and transpportation.
Myanmar has opened the second Thailand-Myanmar friendship bridge to facilitate product transport, travel and tourism with the East-West Economic Corridor on March 19.