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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        21  February 2011

Thai exports to China decline

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Thai exports to China is expected to ease from 33.2 percent in 2010 to 10-15 percent this year as measures taken by Beijing to cool the economy and slow inflation take hold, according to a Thai economic research center.

China last year became Thailand's top export destination, replacing the United States, as it imported 11 percent of all Thai exports. The value of Thai exports to China rose to a record-breaking US$2.09 billion in December 2010, while the figure for the whole year rose to $21.5 billion, up 33.2 percent compared with the 28.1 percent growth of all Thai exports and 21.2 percent growth to the US.

The Chinese economy grew by an estimated 10.3 percent in 2010 and expansion by its various industries increased demand for Thai exports such as chemical products, plastic resins, rubber products, machinery and parts.

Industrial products accounted for 72.1 percent of Thai exports to China and agricultural products 19.5%. Chinese exports to Thailand were worth $24.2 billion, up 42.3 percent year-on-year, raising bilateral trade value to $45.7 billion but pushing up Thailand's trade deficit to $2.77 billion from $900 million in 2009.

However, overland trade in Thai goods via countries such as Laos and Vietnam showed a surplus for Thailand of 7.62 million baht in 2010, as a result of land route development and a good economic growth of many southern Chinese cities, said the Kasikorn Bank Research Center.

China's domestic consumption will remain a major driver of import demand this year as the government will likely focus on income distribution and consumption, while the production sector will continue to want raw and semi-raw materials.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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