The Ministry said that regardless of the economic problems in the US and Europe, Thai exports continues to grow.
Permanent Secretary of the Commerce Ministry Yanyong Puangraj reported the increase. Consequently, total export value for the first eight months of the year is at B4,740 billion ($158 billion), an increase of 26.4 per cent year-on-year.
Import value in August is at B681 billion ($22.7 billion), a rise of 44 per cent, marking a trade deficit of B36 billion ($1.2 billion), the first time in four months.
However, given the total export value for the first eight months, Thailand is still enjoying a trade surplus of more than B150 billion (five billion dollars).
Mr Yanyong pointed out that the deficit was brought about by the import of raw materials to be manufactured into export goods.
Mr Yanyong also said that there is nothing to be concerned about with the US and European economic crises as Thailand has diversified markets for its exports.
The permanent secretary added that all types of export goods have seen growth, particularly agricultural products.
He noted there is still room for growth of 3.5 per cent for Thai exports to the US despite the economy there slowing for three consecutive months.
Mr Yanyong predicted that total export for the year will grow by 20 per cent, up from 15 per cent projected earlier, with a value of B6,720 ($224 billion).
Meanwhile, the Ministry has also passed on cash donation of B639,000 from businesses to flood victims. For those interested in making donations, please call the Ministry’s 1203 and 1569 hotlines.
The Export Promotion Department is confident Thailand would be able to meet its original export growth target of 15 per cent for this year despite the effects of the economic crisis in Europe.
Still, the department is urging exporters to target more markets in Asia.
Deputy Commerce Minister Siriwat Kajornprasart presided over an event called Export Clinic 2011 at the Export Promotion Department.
The Minister said the event has been organised to provide business knowledge to entrepreneurs especially SMEs.
Thai trade representatives from 63 countries were on hand to give advice and discuss with business operators on how Thai products can become more competitive overseas.
Export Promotion Department Deputy Director-General Wuttichai Duangrat is confident Thailand will be able to meet its export growth target of 15 per cent for this year.
He said Thai exports have remained relatively unaffected by the economic crisis in Europe.
However, the Department is urging businesses to shift its focus to market opportunities in Asia.
Mr Wuttichai added that the ASEAN Economic Community, scheduled to be established in 2015, will turn ASEAN member countries into one unified market.
He believes the economic integration effort will enable Thai exports to grow by 20 to 30 per cent annually. – TAN