Thai exporters urged to make use of FTAs to boost shipments of medical supplies hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s exporters are being urged to make the best use of existing free trade agreements (FTAs) to boost shipments of medical supplies, particularly for syringes and medical needles, as the COVID-19 pandemic has driven import demand for such products.

Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said the outbreak has resulted in rising demand for medical supplies including syringes.

"Once a vaccine is developed, we believe demand will surge further," the Bangkok Post newspaper quoted Auramon as saying.

Thai entrepreneurs should speed up their production to serve higher demand both at home and abroad, she said, adding that higher use of tariff privileges offered under FTAs will enable Thai entrepreneurs to rapidly expand their exports in overseas markets.

According to Auramon, in the first half of 2020, several countries were stocking up on imports of syringes and medical needles. Thailand has relatively high potential for metal syringe production and exports. The country ranks No.1 for syringe production in ASEAN and is No.6 in the world.

Thai producers should take this opportunity to rev up their supply for the domestic and export markets, especially to the 18 countries with which Thailand has FTAs implemented, she said.

In the first six months of 2020, Thailand exported medical needles and syringes worth 200 million USD, up 10.6 percent from the same period last year. Major export markets were Japan, the US, France, Germany and China.

Shipments to countries with which Thailand has FTAs totalled 86.3 million USD, accounting for 43 percent of Thailand's total needle and syringe exports./.