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21 August 2009

Thai Finance minister upbeat over export outlook

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Thai Finance Minister Korn  Chatikavanij on Thursday voiced optimism about a turnaround in exports, saying that export figures had shrunk at a slower pace for three consecutive months and purchase orders from trading partners worldwide had risen, reported state news agency TNA.

He predicted the export situation would pick up in the second half of this year because economies of Thailand’s trading partners had begun recovering.

While many think tanks have forecast that Thailand’s exports will contract some 18-20 percent this year, some believe the shrinkage will be only 15 percent.

He said the Finance Ministry is ready to give assistance to the export sector through investment projects under the Thai Khem Keng (Stronger Thai) scheme. Korn said the ministry planned to use US dollars to buy raw materials, equipment and machinery as part of its efforts to prevent the baht from strengthening too much.

In addition, the ministry would provide help to exporters through the Export and Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM).

The practice, he believes, would help increase capital of EXIM so the bank could lend more and guarantee private sector exports.




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