U.S. Chamber: Thailand has compelling case as important market

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made a persuasive presentation for Thailand’s increasing importance as a market for American goods, services and increased commercial ties, an executive with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) said last week.

“Thailand is a hugely important market for the U.S. business community,” said Charles Freeman, USCC Senior Vice President for Asia. “Prime Minister Prayut has laid out a compelling case for why Thailand should only become more important.”

Prime Minister Prayut was in Washington D.C. earlier this month to confer with President Joseph R. Biden in a summit between the U.S. and leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). During his visit, the Prime Minister also met with top executives of the Chamber and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council (USABC).

They discussed Thailand’s post-COVID economic recovery and opportunities arising for business. Those opportunities include new energy and sustainability initiatives, new digital economy developments, and the importance of strengthening trade ties during Thailand’s year as host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

In 2020, a year in which trade declined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand was the 19th largest goods trading partner of the U.S. with $48.9 billion in total (two way), according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Trade in services with Thailand (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $3.4 billion in 2020.

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to Thailand supported an estimated 70,000 jobs in 2019, the latest year for which data is available.

We know that the U.S. needs a long-term strategy in the region to increase business certainty and confidence,” Freeman added. “In that context, the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a positive step, and one we encouraged Prime Minister Prayut to join.”

Photo courtesy of https://www.thaigov.go.th/news/contents/details/54562