Thailand’s cross-border trade slides 7.42 percent hinh anh 1The Aranyaprathet-Poipet border gate of Thailand and Cambodia (Photo: Asia News)

Bangkok (VNA) Thailand’s cross-border trade, including transit trade, fell by 7.42 percent year-on-year in the first eight months, mainly attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a slowing economy.

The Thai Commerce Ministry's Foreign Trade Department said on October 7 that overall border trade, including transit trade, totalled 853 billion THB (27.3 billion USD), with Malaysia the biggest partner by value.

Of the total figure, exports represented 494 billion THB, down 7.37 percent year-on-year, while imports shrank by 7.49 percent to 358 billion THB, resulting in a trade surplus of 136 billion THB.

Border trade with four neighbouring countries amounted to 497 billion THB, down 11.5 percent year-on-year. Of the total, exports stood at 293 billion THB, down 9.63 percent, and imports were 204 billion THB, a decline of 14 percent. Thailand maintained a trade surplus of 88.5 billion THB.

Two-way trade with Malaysia totalled 152 billion THB (down 21 percent), followed by trade with Laos (123 billion THB, down 6.33 percent), Myanmar (114 billion THB, down 13 percent) and Cambodia (108 billion THB, up 1.09 percent).

Transit trade, mainly with Singapore, Vietnam and southern China, fell 1.05 percent in the first eight months to 355 billion THB. Transit trade with southern China and Singapore gained by 13.6 percent and 12 percent to 153 billion THB and 56.8 billion THB, respectively. Meanwhile, transit trade value with Vietnam and other countries dropped by 20.6 percent and 14.6 percent to 39.7 billion and 105 billion THB, respectively.

Keerati Rushchano, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the border trade volume was affected by the pandemic and closure of border checkpoints to prevent an outbreak.

Only 36 of 97 border checkpoints nationwide are open, he said, adding his department will keep a close watch on COVID-19 situation and lockdown measures in neighbouring countries, as well as look for trading solutions at checkpoints./.