Commerce minister expects six percent export growth in 2018

Thailand’s export sector in 2018 is expected to grow by six percent, with rubber and petroleum products being major export goods.

Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong said a this year’s export is projected to grow at approximately six percent, worth 250 billion US dollars.

Speaking after meeting with private firms to assess the export trends, he said electronics, rubber, and petroleum products will be major export products this year, while the export of tapioca may have a setback due to increased supplies from neighboring countries.

The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) is now gathering data to be presented in a meeting of Thai commercial attaches stationed in 58 offices across the globe on 19 February to further assess export goals and plan the promoting measures.

One of the expected obstacles for the export sector this year is the appreciation of Thai baht currency, an issue which the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is finding a viable solution to be proposed to the government.

Meanwhile, the Thai Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Sanan Angubolkul commented the expected six percent growth is subject to assumptions that the Thai baht currency will remain at 32 baht per one US dollar.

He said the currency is expected to depreciate in the third quarter of 2018, and that the private sector wants the Bank of Thailand to closely regulate the currency, issue clear measures on currency regulation, and monitor for any irregular signals of currency fluctuation.