By The Nation
DFT Director-General Keerati Rushchano said trade with neighbouring countries from January to February this year totalled Bt171.314 billion – down 6.46 per cent on the same period last year. The value of exports fell 6.1 per cent to Bt117.946 billion, while imports dropped 7.25 per cent to Bt53.368 billion – a trade surplus of Bt64.578 billion.
Malaysia remained Thailand’s top trading partner at Bt62.807 billion of trade, down 10.48 per cent. That comprised exports worth Bt41.131 billion, down 3.21 per cent, and imports of Bt21.676 billion, down 21.65 per cent
“Countries next on the trade list after Malaysia are Laos, with a value of Bt43.717 billion, down 14.04 per cent, Cambodia at Bt33.904 billion, up 15.66 per cent, and Myanmar at Bt30.885 billion, down 5.89 per cent,” he said.
Cross-border trade with Singapore hit a new high of Bt14.089 billion, a rise of 28.68 per cent, he added. This was divided into Bt5.689 billion in exports, up 41 per cent, and Bt8.4 billion in imports, up 21.49 per cent.
“Territories that followed Singapore are Southern China with a value of Bt12.256 billion, down 27.34 per cent, and Vietnam of Bt6.898 billion, down 46.47 per cent,” he said.
Cambodia had witnessed the highest growth in Thai exports, at 14.86 per cent, fuelled by shipments of non-alcoholic drinks, vehicles, electrical equipment and components, and livestock products.
“Just behind Cambodia as Thai-export destinations are Laos and Myanmar, for non-alcoholic drinks, computers, diesel oil, fabric and thread, and Malaysia, for rubber products, computers, electrical equipment and components,” he said.
He added that the Covid-19 pandemic had prompted the DFT to postpone the border trade fair in Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo province, on March 28 to 31 this year.
Once the disease is under control, “the department plans to boost border trade with fairs in provinces across the country, including Chiang Rai, Nakhon Phanom, Tak, and Yala”, he added.