Workers at a garment-textile export firm in Thailand (Source: Reuteurs/VNA)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) –
The Ministry of Commerce of Thailand has met with business operators recently to discuss approaches to boosting Thai exports, hoping to achieve an 8 percent annual growth target.

Banjongjit Angsusingh, Director General of the Department of International Trade Promotion, reported on February 25 that Thai exports contracted 5.6 percent in January, recording a trade deficit of 4 billion USD, the highest in seven years, prompting the department to convene the meeting with Thai exporters to discuss solutions to the export slump as the Ministry of Commerce targets 8 percent expansion this year.

The meeting on February 25 agreed that Thai exports will rebound in the second quarter of 2019, given Japan, the US, and India are expected to continue importing Thai goods.

Banjongjit told the meeting that her department will organize business matching events throughout 2019, to help Thai exporters partner up with overseas companies.

Sanan Angubolkul, the deputy chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, predicted this year’s economy will grow no less than 3 percent, but expressed his concerns over currency fluctuations, the government’s minimum wage policy, the US-China trade dispute, trade barriers, and the agricultural price slump.

Sanan suggested that the government push for free trade agreements with other nations such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The CPTPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.-NNT/VNA