Thursday, August 13, 2020

Govt urged to open checkpoints after border trade falls almost 10%

Jul 10. 2020
Keerati Rushchano
Keerati Rushchano
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By THE NATION

The Department of Foreign Trade has asked the government to reopen nine border checkpoints closed amid the virus crisis, saying the move would boost the flow of goods.
Border trade from January to May was worth around Bt524.35 billion, falling 9.71 per cent from the same period of last year, said the department.

Exports totalled Bt305.72 billion while imports were worth Bt218.632, a drop of 9.03 per cent and 10.65 per cent respectively. The resulting trade surplus was Bt87.093 billion, said director general Keerati Rushchano, adding that the main hindrance to border trade was Covid-19, which prompted the government to close some checkpoints.

Malaysia was Thailand’s top partner in border trade from January to May, with trade worth Bt87.854 billion – 32.4 per cent down on the same period in 2019.

Laos was next highest with trade worth Bt77.172 billion, down by 6.59 per cent. Trade with Myanmar fell 10.96 per cent to Bt73.740 billion, though trade with Cambodia rose 5.20 per cent to Bt70.872 billion.

Globally, China was Thailand’s top partner with trade rising 15.74 per cent to Bt90.740 billion. Next came Singapore with trade rising 20.83 per cent to Bt36.102 billion.

The initial 2020 target for border trade of Bt1.5 trillion has been revised to Bt1 trillion-Bt1.1 trillion amid the impact of Covid-19.

Keerati said his department has asked the government to reopen the nine of the 69 border checkpoints that were closed for lockdown. Thailand has a total of 97 checkpoints, but only 28 remain open during the virus crisis.

 

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