Thailand boosts exports of rubber products amid COVID-19 hinh anh 1A rubber plantation in Soeng Sang district of Nakhon Ratchasima. (Source: Bangkok Post)

Bangkok (VNA)
– Thailand is maintaining exports of rubber products and processed rubber as global demand surges, particularly for those relating to protective gear against COVID-19 such as rubber gloves and synthetic rubber used to make such gloves.

Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of the Trade Negotiations Department under the Ministry of Commerce, said Thailand's outbound shipments of rubber products and processed rubber in the form of finished products such as auto tyres, rubber gloves, resistance bands and rubber bands rose 10 percent in the first two months of 2020 to 1.97 billion USD.

Free trade agreements (FTAs) were one of the reasons behind higher shipments, she said, adding that Thailand has 13 FTAs in place with 18 countries and territories, with 14 no longer collecting import tariffs on Thai rubber products, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Hong Kong.

Four countries, namely China, the Republic of Korea, India and Chile, are maintaining import tariffs on some rubber products.

In 2019, Thailand exported 5.14 billion USD worth of rubber products to the countries and territories with which it has signed FTAs.

Last year, Thailand was the world’s fourth-largest exporter of rubber products and processed rubber, after China, Germany and the US, with total exports of 11.23 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 2 percent./.