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State news punts Belarus, China may play ‘middleman’ for Thai exports to Russia

State news punts Belarus, China may play ‘middleman’ for Thai exports to Russia

PHUKET: A report by state news agency NNT has explained how Thailand may still export to Russia through “middlemen” Belarus and China. The report was citing a statement by Thailand – Russia Business Council (TRBC) Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul.

RussianUkraineeconomics
By The Phuket News

Monday 7 March 2022, 03:22PM


TRBC Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul. Photo: NNT

TRBC Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul. Photo: NNT

“The Thailand – Russia Business Council (TRBC) has suggested that Thailand may need to export goods to Russia through other countries,” said the report by the government news service NNT.

“The comments came after the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and other nations blocked Swift access for some Russian banks in response to Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine,” the report added.

TRBC Chairman Kriengkrai said Russia was hit with similar measures in 2014 when it annexed Crimea. He noted, however, that “goods can still be exported to Russia through nations such as Belarus and China”, the report said.

Kriengkrai nevertheless acknowledged that war between Russia and Ukraine “meant higher costs for monetary transactions and logistical operations for exports to Russia”, the report added, inadvertently marking that Thailand was still open to conducting financial transactions with Russia.

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Trade between Thailand and Russia had reached US$2.7 billion in 2021, with Thai exports accounting for $1.02bn, the report said.

Automobiles and parts were the biggest exports, followed by rubber and latex goods, machinery and parts, and processed fruits.

During that same year Russian imports accounted for $1.7bn, with crude oil being the most valued commodity.

“With the war pushing fuel prices higher, the TRBC Chairman said Thailand is likely to see a trade deficit with Russia going forward,” the report said, with no recognition whether thailand intended to continue buying oil from Russia while the invasion of Ukraine was continuing.

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