Exports targeted for three percent growth in 2017
The central government has announced plans to significantly grow shipments of innovative and high-tech products as well as engage in stimulating a greater number of strategic partnerships during the next 12 months with the aim of boosting exports by three percent by the end of 2017.
The Commerce Ministry is committed to stimulating export growth in key markets, with fairly specific goals slated for regional areas. The ministry aims for a one percent growth for Europe, three percent in the East Asian region, including China, a further two percent growth for Hong Kong, three percent for Taiwan, one percent for Japan and a 2.9 percent growth for the US.
For Asean the Commerce Ministry is aiming at an export growth of 2.5 percent and for South Asia two percent, but the biggest of all target markets are the Middle East (3.3 percent) and Australia (five percent).
The Deputy Commerce Minister, Suvit Maesincee, has stated that for 2016 full-year exports are most probably likely to contract by about two percent because of the slower-than-expected global economic recovery as well as relatively low oil and farm prices.
Even so, the minister said that despite falling exports for the first seven months, Thailand has successfully maintained its global market share, especially in key markets. He stated Thailand still has 10 percent of the US, Japanese, Chinese and EU markets and 25 percent of the Asean market, all of which helps diversify export risks.
A senior economist at the Bank of Ayudhya’s research department has cast doubt on the ministry’s three percent export growth target, saying the global economy will still be facing a cyclical slowdown next year.
He suggested Thailand will also be facing structural issues in its own export sector. He said the recent rebound in crude oil prices is unlikely to last, while the prices of overall goods remain low with many of Thailand’s exported goods being closely tied to global commodity prices.
The bank agrees with the government forecast estimates of exports contracting by two percent this year, but only sees a two percent growth next year.
The chief economist at SCB’s Economic Intelligence Center is quoted as saying the possibility of hitting the three percent target next year will depend mainly on the value of exports Thailand achieves during 2016.
The SCB assessment agrees with that of the Bank of Ayudhya, noting this year’s performance to date and the current poor global economic conditions. They said
Thailand’s major trade partners have yet to see any signs of economic recovery.
The possibility of a US Federal Reserve rate hike later this year could also slow down the American economy next year.