A commercial centre in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)
NDO/VNA - The Thai Government has become more optimistic about the country's cross-border trade prospects in 2021 after overall cross-border trade, including transit trade, recorded healthy growth of 31.2 percent in the first eight months.
Thai Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit was quoted by local media as saying that overall cross-border trade, including transit trade, tallied 1.11 trillion baht (US$32.89 billion) from January to August. Of the total, exports made up 682 billion baht, up 38 percent, while imports rose 21.7 percent to 436 billion baht, he added.
Cross-border trade was very active and is expected to exceed the growth target of 3-6 percent set earlier by the ministry, said he said, attributing the growth to buyers' confidence in the quality of Thai products, the economic recovery of neighbouring countries and efforts by the ministry to address traffic congestion at border checkpoints.
Jurin said an anticipated rise in this year's cross-border trade is also an outcome of the ministry's ongoing efforts to expedite the reopening of border checkpoints. Thailand has reopened 46 checkpoints, with 51 still closed due to the pandemic.
According to Jurin, the ministry vows to expand border trade with Laos, Malaysia and Cambodia.
He expected to reopen more checkpoints soon after assigning the Foreign Trade Department to team up with the private sector and the governors of border provinces, including Chiang Rai, Loei, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan, to continue negotiations with neighbouring countries. Responsible agencies and the private sector are also pushing for the reopening of the Buketa and Tak Bai border checkpoints in Narathiwat, he added.
Last year, cross-border trade of Thailand dropped 1.7 percent year on year to 1.31 trillion baht. The fall was due to impacts of COVID-19 which led to the shutdown of border checkpoints to prevent the spreading of the pandemic, along with a rise in the price of baht.
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