The Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) will hold a seminar to encourage Thai exports to and investments in neighboring countries, which are playing a more important role to the Thai economy.

Deputy Director-General of the DFT Ms. Pongpun Gearaviriyapun said the business seminar will be held at the Miracle Grand Hotel on January 25, 2012, in Bangkok. She said the goal of this event is to make Thai investors more aware of trade and investment opportunities within the emerging markets of Thailand’s neighboring countries.

Due to the impact from the global credit crunch, Ms. Pongpun explained that Thailand has to reconsider its trade strategy as exports to major partners, such as the US, China and India, may no longer provide sustainable revenue for the country.

According to her, attentions are now on the ASEAN market, which is supposedly becoming a major drive to the world economy. The Deputy Director-General suggested that with the potential to become globally competitive, Thailand, as a member of the ASEAN Community, should take this advantage and focus on establishing trade deals with the surrounding nations.

At the same time, Ms. Pongpun indicated a steady growth in trade and investment volume between Thailand and its neighbors. The statistics reveal a trade value of nearly 820 billion baht during January–November last year, a 15 percent increase from the year before. The figure is expected to expand by as much as 20 percent this year.

ASEAN countries have become Thailand’s important trading partners since January 2010 when import tariffs were eliminated for many products from Thailand, such as para rubber, computers, steel parts, cosmetics and fragrances, under the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)./. (Source: NNT)