Malaysia-Thailand border trade falls 9.1% in 2020

BANGKOK, March 9 (Bernama): Border trade between Malaysia and Thailand fell 9.1 per cent to 249 billion baht (100 Thai baht = RM13.36) last year as border closure to curb the spread of Covid-19 led to trade disruption.

Foreign Trade Department director-general Keerati Rushchano said Thailand’s cross-border trade with four neighbouring countries, namely Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, stood at 760 billion baht, down 8.01 per cent year-on-year.

He said Malaysia remained as Thailand’s biggest border-trade partner followed by Laos with border trade standing at 190 billion baht, sliding 3.85 per cent, Myanmar at 165 billion baht, dropping by 14.7 per cent, and Cambodia at 156 billion baht, falling by 3.15 per cent.

"Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to recover and expand between 3.0 and 6.0 per cent this year following the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, as well as global economic recovery,” he said in a statement.

Keerati said Thailand’s cross-border trade, including transit trade is projected to generate between 1.36-1.40 trillion baht compared to 1.31 trillion baht in 2020.

Overall border trade, including transit trade, declined 1.7 per cent last year due to closure of border checkpoints and strong baht in 2020.

Keerati said Covid-19 vaccination drive would spur economic recovery.

He said Thailand’s transit trade with Singapore, Vietnam, Southern China, and other countries rose 8.41 per cent to 559 billion baht in 2020.

He said transit trade with Southern China increased 20 per cent to 238 billion baht, Singapore rose 17.2 per cent to 88.7 billion baht, and Vietnam and other countries fell 1.3 per cent to 172 billion baht.

To date, Thailand has reopened 39 of 97 border checkpoints for trade and transportation of goods. - Bernama

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