The Foreign Trade Department has vowed to apply digital innovations and modern world trade to boost Thailand’s export competitiveness over the next 12 months, while enhancing and upgrading foreign trade-related services to facilitate exports.
Speaking about his department’s performance in fiscal 2022, which ends on Sept 30 this year, director-general Pitak Udomwichaiwat said it would continue to drive border trade growth and promote rice and tapioca exports, as well as help exporters make the best use of privileges offered by free-trade agreements and the Generalized System of Preferences.
According to Mr Pitak, in fiscal 2022 the department performed quite well in 10 areas, including border trade, exports, and agricultural innovation support.
The department has successfully convinced neighbouring countries to reopen 57 border checkpoints, out of 97, to stimulate trade and investment activities.
As a result, Thailand’s border trade in the first seven months of 2022 increased by 20.6% from the same period of last year, to 619 billion baht. Of the total, exports contributed 376 billion baht, up by 19.8%, and imports rose by 21.8% to 242 billion baht.
According to Mr Pitak, the department has been actively carrying out rice export promotion activities in overseas markets, and introduced the “Green Label” to guarantee the quality and traceability of Thai Hom Mali rice.
Such promotional efforts play a part in driving Thailand’s rice exports, which have increased 45.4% year-on-year as of Sept 20 to 5.35 million tonnes, with a value of 93.5 billion baht, up 40.1% from the same period of 2021.
The department has also upgraded the country’s rice export target to 7.5 million tonnes for this calendar year, from 7 million tonnes.
Mr Pitak said in fiscal 2022 the department also continued cooperation with related agencies to drive tapioca exports and stabilise tapioca prices in the whole system.
The department has formulated a marketing plan for the 2022/23 tapioca harvest season by focusing on existing markets like China and Europe, and new markets such as Turkey, New Zealand, India, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
The Commerce Ministry expects outbound shipments of all types of tapioca products to top 11 million tonnes this year, compared with 10.4 million tonnes in 2021, with an export value of 130 billion baht, up 6% from a year earlier.
According to Mr Pitak, the department has successfully promoted 300 entrepreneurs engaging in innovative agricultural products through business matchings, marketing channels, and an innovative product contest via the Agri Plus Award 2022 to promote the added value of Thai agricultural products