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Commerce minister: Exports to rise 12.5% in 2008


February 24, 2008

Commerce minister: Exports to rise 12.5% in 2008

Despite a trade deficit in January, the first in 18 months, Commerce Minister Mingkwan Saengsuwan is optimistic that Thailand's exports this year will grow as much as 10.5 to 12.5 per cent over 2007, TNA reported.

Mingkwan, also deputy prime minister, said Thailand exports in January were worth about $13.96 billion, up 33.3 percent year-on-year, while imports totaled $14.61 billion, an increase of 49.1 percent from a year ago.

January's trade deficit was attributed to a payment amounting to $239 million for Airbus aircraft and on oil drilling platform by energy giant  PTT Pcl. amounting $532 million, he said.

However, Mingkwan was confident that exports this year should grow between 10.5-12.5 percent, or some $165-169 billion compared to a trade surplus of about $12.47 billion in 2007.

The commerce minister said he would meet next week with Thai commercial attaches posted around the world. Thailand will find ways to further penetrate Chinese, Indian and African markets, and to encourage local exporters to ship more goods to countries which have signed free trade agreements with the Kingdom in order to achieve export goals.

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