ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Positive signs for improved Thai exports to Japan, China
The Commerce Ministry has projected the value of Thai exports to Japan and China at US$50 billion this year, according to the International Trade Promotion Department.
Director General Nantawan Sakuntanak said Thai exports to Japan and China this year were targetted at US$22 billion and US$28 billion respectively.
In the first two months of the year, the value of exports to Japan was US$3.701 billion, 2.3 per cent higher than the same period last year, while exports to China were valued at US$4.394 billion, 0.8 per cent below target.
She said the department aimed to expand Thai exports of food, fashion and lifestyle products, merchandise for health and beauty, plastic and electronics products and eco-friendly and niche markets in Japan.
Ms Nantawan said the department will work closely with national and provincial trade agencies in China and make full use of the ASEAN-China FTA to strengthen Thai manufacturers, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses in Thailand.
Thailand’s top exports to Japan in the first two months of the year were automobiles and auto parts valued at US$223 billion, followed by computers, plastic pellets, rubber, processed chicken, radio and television sets, electrical appliances and processed seafood.
The most significant export to China was rubber, at a value of US$725 million, followed by tapioca products, plastic pellets, chemicals, rubber products, computer, equipment and components, and finished oil products.
Ms Nanwatan said Japan’s economic index, an indicator of the country’s investment trend, remains volatile especially after an increase in value added tax early this month.
Most analysts predicted that Japan’s central bank will be more relaxed in its monetary policy in the second and third quarters despite its unanimous decision to maintain the monetary policy and Japan’s economic trend at medium range.
China’s central bank has adopted more cautious fiscal policy and maintained the country’s liquidity level in the medium range to contribute to appropriate borrowings and capital mobilisation.
Slightly strengthened economies in the US and European Union will be positive for Thailand’s exports to China which has maintained its GDP growth at 7 per cent, she said.
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