Thailand wants to increase exports to places like this border town in Myanma. (Photo: Reuters)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - Thailand's Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) has revealed that border trade during the first five months of the year grew by 6.4 percent and expressed confidence that total trade growth this year will reach its target of 15 percent at 1.5 trillion baht. 

DFT Director-General Adul Chotinisakorn revealed that border trade from January to May this year was valued at over 560 billion baht, growing by 6.4 percent from the same period last year. The figure consists of border trade, which grew by 4.18 percent to over 460 billion baht, and cross-border trade, which grew by 18 percent to over 100 billion baht. 

Trade between Thailand and Malaysia was the highest among neighbouring countries at over 230 billion baht, but grew only 0.5 percent. That was followed by Laos, which grew by 7.52 percent to over 90 billion baht; Myanmar, which grew 9.47 percent to 81 billion baht; and Cambodia, with over 58 billion baht in trade. Trade with Myanmar grew by the largest margin due to higher imports of natural gas. 

Border and cross-border exports in the first five months of the year were valued at 320 billion baht, down 1.53 percent. Imports over the same period increased by 18.98 percent at over 243 billion baht, yielding a trade surplus of over 76 billion baht. 

Cross-border trade is expected to increase, led by Vietnam at over 34 billion baht or 17.63 percent growth, followed by Southern China at 33 billion baht, or 21.9 percent growth. Trade growth with Southern China was attributed to an increase in agricultural exports, especially fresh and frozen fruits that expanded by 224 percent. In addition, the import agency for agricultural products in China added 22 items of fruit that can be exported to the country. 

There are several campaigns to promote border and cross-border trade in the second half of the year. The Thai-Myanmar Border Economic Partnership event is being organized in Kanchanaburi province from June 28 to July 1 this year.
Hat Yai of Songkhla province will be one of several hosting border trade exhibitions this year, including for the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and the East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMPT-EAGA) between Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Timor Leste. 

DFT Director-General Adul was confident that the upcoming campaigns will help trade growth reach its target of 15 percent at 1.5 trillion baht.-NNT/VNA