Thailand’s commerce ministry targets 2 trillion baht in cross-border trade by 2027

Picture courtesy of Patipat Janthong

Aiming to increase the value of cross-border and transit trade to 2 trillion baht by 2027, the Commerce Ministry is expediting the application of the cross-border trade strategy. The Ministry is establishing four dedicated task forces to tackle border trade-related issues.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, following Wednesday’s committee meeting on trade, cross-border, and transit trade promotion, shared that the committee has set out to enhance cross-border and transit trade to the 2 trillion baht (US$ 57,230,340,000) mark by 2027. This will be achieved by fostering collaboration among relevant agencies and the private sector. Key collaborators include the Customs Department, the Finance Ministry, the Immigration Bureau, the Interior Ministry, and provincial governors.

Phumtham also disclosed that the meeting consented to form four specific task forces. These task forces will serve as a driving mechanism to initiate various activities aimed at boosting and facilitating border trade and addressing impediments related to trade and investment.

The task forces will consist of a panel handling Thailand’s competitiveness to increase trade value, a panel focused on enhancing export capabilities and facilitating convenience at border areas and in transportation and logistics, a panel for promoting and utilising benefits from various agreements and partnership frameworks, and a panel for promoting investment in border areas and neighbouring countries, reported Bangkok Post.

In addition, from 2024 to 2027, the meeting laid out a strategic plan for promoting trade and investment along the border.

The plan includes upgrading the current border trade checkpoints to permanent status at three locations: the Singkhon border pass in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Huay Ton Nun in Mae Hong Son, and Ban Sap Ta Ri in Chanthaburi.

Furthermore, the meeting agreed to tackle the issue of delays in importing and exporting goods, specifically at the second Mae Sot border checkpoint in Tak, which is currently under construction for an external X-ray inspection point.

In the year 2022, Thailand’s cross-border trade and transit trade value amounted to 1.79 trillion baht (US$ 51,215,301,000), marking a 1.44% increase from the previous year, according to the Commerce Ministry’s data.

For the first 10 months of this year, however, the trade value reached 1.45 billion baht (US$ 41,487,255), reflecting a 2.62% drop year-on-year. Out of the total, exports were valued at 825 million baht (US$ 23,604,817), a decrease of 3.26% year-on-year, while the import value stood at 626 million baht (US$ 17,911,049), down by 1.75%.

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