Friday, December 13, 2019

Commerce Ministry optimistic of export growth, HK unrest has little effect

Aug 13. 2019
Boonyarit Kalayanamit
Boonyarit Kalayanamit
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By The Nation

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The Commerce Ministry has said it will not adjust down its initial export target of 3 per cent, while the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) has confirmed that the political unrest in Hong Kong has had a minor impact on Thailand’s export sector.

Boonyarit Kalayanamit, the ministry’s permanent-secretary, said at a seminar entitled “Eagle vs Dragon Trade War Saga” that the US-China trade row has persisted longer than expected and is starting to affect other sectors as well.

“The trade war is now affecting global technology and finance,” he said. “Both the US and China are economic giants, and Thailand is one of the supply chains that exports to both countries. Therefore, Thailand sustaining an impact is inevitable.”

However, he said, there is a silver lining. “This trade war is presenting opportunities for Thai manufacturers to export products to both countries to replace the goods they used to trade in, like fresh and processed agricultural goods, canned seafood, clothes and light industries,” he said.

He added that the Commerce Ministry and the Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee (JPPSCC) will meet on Wednesday (August 14) to exchange views and discuss issues regarding export and international trade.

“At the meeting, I will report that we are still on track for an export growth target of 3 per cent, no adjustments required. The ministry’s current export strategy is to preserve existing markets, find new partners and restore ties with old ones,” he said.

DITP, meanwhile, reported that the cancellation of flights to Hong Kong due to the unrest will have a minor impact on Thailand’s export sector.

Director-general Banjongjit Angsusing said that most Thai exporters trading in fruits and processed food usually shipped their goods to Hong Kong.

“Also, we can still use Chinese waters to deliver our goods to Hong Kong,” she said. “However, I hope the situation in Hong Kong will return to normal soon, as the territory is not just an export market, but also a financial hub of the region."

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