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Thai durian rules global fruit market thanks to tariff waivers: DTN


The Thai durian is still a market leader in China thanks to the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) said on Wednesday.

Auramon Supthaweethum, DTN director-general, said the export of Thailand’s “king of fruits” in the first quarter of this year to China was worth US$186 million (THB5.8 billion), up 14 per cent year on year, followed by Hong Kong ($14 million) and Vietnam ($10 million).

Export of durian to China last year stood at $1.5 billion, up 78 per cent from 2019, she said.

“FTAs have also helped Thailand gain an advantage in the international market,” she added.

Apart from the nine Asean countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam), import tariff for Thai durian has also been waived in China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Chile and Peru.

"Under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP] agreement, Thailand can ask South Korea to gradually reduce import tariff on durian until it reaches zero," she said, adding that import tariff on Thai durian in South Korea is currently 36 per cent.

She also expects demand for processed fruit, such as dried fruit, to rise as more consumers are opting for healthy snacks.

 

“Hence, this is a perfect opportunity for Thai farmers and entrepreneurs to offer a bigger variety of products for export,” she said. “However, they must ensure products are developed in line with international standards and no chemicals or pesticide is used.”

Published : May 05, 2021

By : The Nation