By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Deputy Commerce Minister Suvit Maesincee said the ministry would sum up problems and proposals from private enterprises for setting up trade-promotion plans in a more sustainable way.
The International Trade Development Committee is scheduled to meet on December 9.
Suvit said the committee would consider not only trade-promotion plans, but also how to stimulate the domestic economy to ensure stable crop prices and increase farmers’ incomes.
"The ministry will propose drawing up a plan to emphasise trade in services, as that would create sustainable and higher returns for the country," Suvit said.
He said trade in services was now contributing about 30 per cent to gross domestic product, a proportion the ministry projects will rise to 50 per cent within five years.
Moreover, Thailand’s market share in exported services is now slightly larger than its market share in trade in goods, he said.
Exportable services that the ministry will focus on include wellness and medical, logistics, professional services, architecture, education, software and entertainment.
Suvit said demand for those services were highly likely to grow in the global market since the trend would shift to trade in services, not only trade in goods.
The ministry will also ask for the prime minister’s and the committee’s views on whether Thailand should join the TPP and how to move forward on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The meeting will also discuss how to promote the farming sector and support the processing of agricultural products to serve the world market so that Thailand will no longer face oversupplies of agricultural commodities, while farmers will gain better incomes.
Suvit said farmers’ incomes should increase and stabilise if the government has a clear plan to help them balance supply and demand, while finding markets for their crops.
The focus will be on rice, tapioca, rubber, sugar cane, and seasonal fruits.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is set to meet with the Commerce Ministry on Thursday to wrap up measures to promote both local and overseas trade, as well as find solutions to export difficulties.
Ministry officials will brainstorm to draw up measures to stimulate exports next year.
Suvit said export growth should return to positive territory next year, after this year’s negative growth amid the sluggish global economy.
According to a survey by the ministry, although Thai exports have declined this year, Thailand still did better than many other countries. In the first eight months this year, only three economies – Ireland, mainland China and Hong Kong – saw export value decline less than Thailand’s.
Moreover, with the positive outlook for better global trade expansion next year, Thai exports should also benefit, he said.
The International Monetary Fund projects that global trade will expand by 2.4 per cent in 2016, from a decline of 11.2 per cent this year.