Thai exports could hit 12-year high

The Kingdom’s exports soared 17 percent year on year in October despite a global container shortage and skyrocketing shipping costs, a signal that the Thai economy is poised for a strong post-pandemic rebound.

An official with the Ministry of Commerce said that the full-year export total could hit a 12-year high in terms of value should the pace of shipments remain steady during the final two months.

The robust rise led the government to predict exports could grow 15 percent for 2021, outstripping its own target of 4 percent growth for this year in which the pandemic hit the economy hard. Exports are the strongest piston in Thailand’s economic engine, while consumption and investment are also driving forces.

“For the entire year, 15 to 16 percent growth is likely to be achieved, with exports worth $266.37 to 268.69 billion, the highest in 12 years,” said Ronnarong Phoolpipat, Director-General of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office at Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce.

The positive performance prompted the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) to forecast 4.2 percent economic growth for 2022, a significant increase over the 1.5 percent it expects for 2021.

A strong and ongoing recovery in the Kingdom’s tourism industry could play a key role in next year’s rebound. Tourism contributes about 10 percent directly to the economy, and as much as 20 percent indirectly.

“The revenue from tourism alone could be as high as ($10 billion) and should help increase economic expansion by 2 to 2.5 percent,” said Thanawat Polvichai, Rector at UTCC and Chief Adviser to the UTCC’s Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting.

Photo courtesy of: