8% March growth for Thai exports in promising recovery

PHOTO: Thailand's exports are recovering with 8% growth last month.

An 8% increase in exports is expected for March fueled by online officials connecting foreign buyers with Thai exporters. Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit touted the success of this plan to have officials working as salesmen to promote Thai products worldwide, the results of which produced 14.4 billion baht in exports last year. The Trade Policy and Strategy Office will release official numbers tomorrow, but the Commerce Ministry and key business groups painted a positive picture, leading to the 8% estimate.

An upward path is predicted, contrasting with sales figures nearly a year ago, when Thai exports were down 22% in May and 23% in June as much of the world went into Covid-19 lockdown. The freefall ended, but figures still inched downward for the rest of 2020, until December when some growth was finally seen, with a 4.7% increase in exports. January saw a very minor increase of about a third of a per cent, but February brought the effects of Covid-19’s second wave, with a 2.59% fall due to a reduction of production and gold exports.

With tourisms usual 16-17% of the economy all but pancaked, exports are a major force keeping Thailand from descending into a deeper recession. This government-aided matchmaking between Thai exports and foreign buyers is forecasted to drive continued growth. The Commerce Minister said their original 2021 target of 16 billion baht in exporting sales will easily be exceeded. One potential cash cow is current talks between Thai businesses and multinational American behemoth Walmart Inc.

Another positive sign for Thailand’s economy is an increase in new businesses, with first-quarter numbers of 23,389 new businesses standing 20% higher than last year. March alone brought 8,841 new businesses with 19.4 billion baht of registered capital. The main sectors of business growth were building construction, real estate development, and restaurants.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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