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Asean taking steps to boost trade within the region amid Covid crisis

Asean taking steps to boost trade within the region amid Covid crisis
FRIDAY, March 04, 2022

Asean members are working on facilitating increased trade, removing trade barriers and reduce transaction costs to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, the top official at Thailand's Department of Trade Negotiations said on Friday.

Department director-general Auramon Supthaweethum made the remarks after attending the 22nd Asean Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Committee (ATF-JCC) via teleconference.

She said Thailand has requested additional details from Asean members on using trade measures to ensure that the operation will be in line with the agreement and facilitate Thai exporters, such as permission to sell medicines in Vietnam and import horticultural crops, medicines, tyres and air-conditioners from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Auramon Supthaweethum

"In 2021, Asean improved trade facilitation and the average score increased by 13 per cent compared to 2017," she said, "Thailand was ranked No. 2 in Asean trade facilitation, behind Singapore."

She added that Thailand has cooperated with Asean on operating under Non-Tariff Measures guidelines to remove trade barriers in the region as well.

In 2021, trade between Thailand and Asean was worth US$110.79 billion, up 17.09 per cent year on year. Of the total, Thailand’s exports accounted for $65.02 billion and $45.78 billion were imports, up 17.24 per cent and 16.89 per cent, respectively.

Major exports included oil, gold, electric circuits, trucks, beverages, air-conditioners and cars, while major imports included oil, electricity, natural gas, voice recorders, electronic components, electric circuits and coal.