By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the department, said that as the Asean Economic Community (AEC) approaches, that market would be targeted for export expansion this year and next.
“Despite low growth in exports to Asean |markets [currently], the promotion plan for |the second half should encourage more growth and ensure that Thai products will enjoy borderless trading among Asean countries,” Nuntawan said.
Under the promotion plan, several trade |missions will be held in the second half. The department will invite a group of Thai traders |to promote their goods in each target market |at “Thai Week” events, including to Yangon, |Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Singapore, Jakarta and Surabaya.
Thai traders will also join seven international trade exhibitions in Asean, including a technology and telecommunication fair in Singapore, |machinery fairs in Vietnam and Indonesia, |trade exhibitions in Cambodia, food and foot-|wear fairs in Malaysia, and a fashion fair in Indonesia.
The department also plans to organise 13 trade missions for specific Thai industries to promote their goods in Asean markets. These include food, agricultural products, automobiles and parts, electrical appliances, electronics, construction materials, machinery, and plastic and fashion goods.
Asean is currently Thailand’s largest export destination, accounting for 25 per cent of total value. However, exports to Asean declined 3.2 per cent year on year in the first two months of this year to US$4.78 billion (Bt154 billion). Last year, export to Asean totalled $31.59 billion, an increase by 5.9 per cent from 2012.
To ensure sustainable trade growth with Asean, the department also plans to encourage Thai enterprises to invest more in the region, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, to benefit from their tariff privileges provided by developed countries.
The department has set up AEC Business Support Centres in eight countries in Asean, the exception being Brunei. The department has also a DITP AEC Club, with 750 members, to discuss and exchange ideas and plans for trading and investing in Asean markets.