TUESDAY, April 16, 2024
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Thai exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products gain from FTAs

Thai exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products gain from FTAs

Thailand was able to maintain competitiveness in agricultural and agro-industrial product exports last year due to free trade agreements (FTAs) with partners, the Department of Trade Negotiations said on Sunday.

Thailand's exports to FTA partners was valued at US$167.20 billion (6 trillion baht), down 3% year on year (YoY) due to the global economic slowdown amid inflation, rising interest rates and geopolitical conflicts.

Despite a decline in total export to FTA partners, Thailand's exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products expanded as partners offered tax waivers on those products.

Agricultural product exports were worth $19.56 billion (702.82 billion baht), up 4% YoY, while agro-industrial products exports amounted to $15.07 billion (541.54 billion baht), up 2% YoY.

Thailand's exports to main FTA partners like China and ASEAN expanded 11% and 5%, respectively.

Department director-general Chotima Iemsawasdikul said:

"Thailand is the top agricultural products exporter in ASEAN and seventh globally. And Thailand is third highest agro-industrial products exporter in ASEAN and 11th globally."

Chotima Iemsawasdikul

She explained that Thailand's export of frozen and dried fruits to FTA partners had expanded by 23% YoY. Among other products that saw export expansion were:

- Rice, by 92%, to countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia

- Frozen chicken, by 19%, to China, Japan and Malaysia

- Coffee, by 43%, to Cambodia, Japan and China

- Sugar, by 14%, to Indonesia, Phillippines and South Korea

- Canned and processed fruits, by 9%, to China, Australia and Laos

- Canned and processed vegetables, by 18%, to Japan, South Korea and China

- Ice cream, by 11%, to Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam

Thai exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products gain from FTAs

As a key to boost export competitiveness in the global market, Thailand now has 15 FTAs, covering more than 85% of Thai products.

Sri Lanka is Thailand's latest FTA partner, and more agreements were in the process this year to ensure maximum benefits of the country's export, Chotima said.

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