BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Thai exporters are working closely with the Commerce Ministry to explore three markets with high potential — the Middle East, South Asia, and Thailand's neighbouring countries — next year, according to the commerce minister.
The three major markets have seen an estimated 1.7 trillion baht in exports this year, which are expected to increase by another 300 billion baht next year to 2 trillion, said Jurin Laksanawisit (pic), who also doubles as deputy prime minister.
He said on Friday that a “war room” would also be set up for a joint committee comprising his ministry and exporters.
The panel agreed at its meeting on Friday to set up the war room that would be staffed by Commerce Ministry officials, relevant state agencies, and private businesses involved with exports, according to Jurin.
“We will work together closely throughout 2023 to deal with the global economic slowdown and problems from 2021 and 2022,” the minister said.
The focus in the Middle Eastern market will be on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, which are importers of food, car parts, air-conditioners and construction materials, Jurin said. He said the goal for next year was to increase exports to those three countries by 20% — from US$8.9 billion (310 billion baht) this year to $10.3 billion next year.
Regarding the South Asian market, the focus would be on India, Bangladesh and Nepal, which mainly import chemical products, plastic pellets, automobiles and car parts. The goal is to increase export value by 10% — from $12 billion this year to $13.2 billion next year.
As for the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) market, the goal is to boost export value by 10-15% — from $28 billion this year to $33.5 billion next year. These countries mainly import construction materials, electrical appliances, plastic pellets, textiles, food products, fruits and vegetables.
The joint public-private committee also resolved on Friday to send Thai delegations to the UAE, India and China’s Yunnan province in a bid to boost trade ties, according to the commerce minister.
The panel also urged the government to expedite Thailand’s negotiations for “mini” free trade agreements with certain cities in the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Persian Gulf states, he said.