Exporters encouraged to focus on regions
Shipping containers for export are seen at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri province. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Thai exporters are advised to shift their focus to regional markets such as ASEAN, China, the Middle East and India in the second half of the year, rather than the global market.
Chaichan Chareonsuk, chairman of the Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC), said the war between Russia and Ukraine is likely to last longer and the polarization of power between the US and China is likely to widen.
More importantly, the energy crisis and a sharp increase in agricultural raw material and rare earth element prices are expected to continue this year, which will lead to the overall manufacturing production cost and product prices rising accordingly.
According to Mr. Chaichan, the government and the economy should seize the tourism recovery as the number of foreign arrivals is expected to rise in the second half of this year after the government’s public launch on March 17.
The TNSC forecasts 6 million foreign arrivals this year.
Thailand has welcomed 1.4 million tourists in the first five months of 2022, a significant increase from 427,869 arrivals recorded for all of last year, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Mr Chaichan urged Thai exporters to more quickly maximize the privileges offered by free trade agreements and deep trade partnerships (known as mini-FTAs) to increase trade.
In the remaining months of this year and in the coming years, Thai producers must also focus on organic, circular and green products, which is a new global trend.
Mr Chaichan said despite a myriad of risk factors, the council still believes 5-8% growth is achievable for the country’s export sector, with the main drivers being the depreciation of the baht and robust demand for products such as sugar, rubber, auto parts , textiles, food, rice and precious stones and jewelry.
The council forecast that Thai exports could sustain growth of 3-5% in the second quarter and 5% each in the third and fourth quarters.
Exports grew by 8.7% in the first quarter.
The Commerce Department is expected to release May trade data next week.
In the first four months of this year, Thai exports grew 13.7% year-on-year to $97.1 billion, while imports rose 19.2% to $100 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of 2, $85 billion.