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‘Won’t be easy’, but DITP believes exports will rise

Aug 23. 2019
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By The Nation

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The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) is expecting exports to improve in the third and fourth quarters of the year, on target to meet the government’s 3 per cent growth goal, but it’s also prepared to adjust its trade-show strategies.

DIPT director-general Banjongjit Angsusing said after a meeting with the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Thai Industries and private operators on Friday (Aug. 23) that the export situation was likely to improve in the balance of the year, especially for key products such as rice, sugar, rubber and electronic components.

“The private sector expects exports to shrink by 0.9 per cent compared to last year,” she said, “but the DIPT will maintain the 3 per cent target as our working goal until year-end.”

Banjongjit said the department included that target in a report to the Cabinet last Tuesday (Aug. 20) and project 3.5 per cent growth for 2020.

She said private entrepreneurs had during the meeting pointed out other issues, such as the impact of the stronger baht on exports, measures to cope with the US-China trade war and complications in import procedures, particularly in China and India.

“The DIPT will study these issues carefully and formulate suitable measures as soon as possible,” she said.

As for current measures to promote exports, she said the focus is on completing negotiations on trade pacts such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and free-trade agreements with Britain and the European Union.

“The DIPT will also invite 20 local business councils to discuss plans to expand trade opportunities in alternative markets such as India and the Philippines,” Banjongjit said.

Achieving the 3 per cent growth target won’t be easy, she acknowledged. “We have to push at least US$23 billion worth of exports per month. It’s hard but not impossible. We’re keeping the original target intact so that we stay motivated."

“The DIPT is currently hosting around 10 trade shows per year,” she said. “We may have to reduce the number and focus instead on stimulus packages for specific product groups.”

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