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Political Changes Have No Impact on Thailand’s International Trade

May 27, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

The political changes in Thailand that came about after the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had taken control of the country have had no impact on Thailand’s international trade.

Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion Nantawan Sakuntanaga said that Thai commercial counselors overseas had been told to explain the current situation to the country’s trading partners.

Thailand still continues production for exports, and business operations continue as usual. Exports account for 73 percent of Thailand’s GDP. The Ministry of Commerce earlier projected that Thai exports in 2014 would grow by at least 5 percent.

In a report issued by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, economic management for the remainder of 2014 should focus on expediting exports, so that they expand at their full potential, particularly by raising export income from major markets and new high-potential markets, as well as promoting border and regional trade. Exports are still expected to be the country’s main engine of growth in 2014.

The reasons for taking control of administrative power by the NCPO were to prevent further violence, to bring normalcy back to the country as soon as possible, and to find ways out of the political impasse. Thailand’s position with regard to international relations with foreign countries and international organizations will remain unchanged.

After pushing forward a reform agenda, the NCPO leader General Prayut Chan-O-Cha stressed that debts owed to rice farmers under the rice-pledging scheme would be repaid within 15-20 days. A great number of farmers have not yet been paid after selling rice under the scheme, launched by the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

Governor of the Bank of Thailand Prasarn Trairatvorakul cited debt repayment for rice farmers as an urgent issue that should be carried out by the Council. Another urgent issue is to restore international confidence in Thailand. Such a political change has taken place before and explanations of the situation are necessary.

He said that, in the overall picture, Thailand’s fundamentals remains strong and the Thai baht is stable. There is no sign that Thailand’s credit rating will be lowered. Greater attention should be placed on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and high household debts.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary for Industry Vitoon Simachokdee is preparing to submit a proposal to the NPCO, seeking to approve 400 pending investment projects, with a combined value of 700 billion baht. He told all relevant agencies to carry out measures to help SMEs and enhance the country’s competitiveness.

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