BANGKOK: Minister of Commerce Sonthirat Sonthijirawong, has disclosed that Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Somkid Jatusripitak, recently called a meeting of the government’s economic team, comprised of the Ministries of Finance and Commerce, the Bank of Thailand and the Stock Exchange of Thailand, to discuss the effects of the US-China situation.
At the meeting, the Ministry of Commerce emphasised that the situation poses both risks and opportunities for Thailand. Risks outlined were mostly to do with the impact on Thai products used in supply chains in China, but the ministry noted its confidence that Thai exports would still see growth of no less than 8 percent this year.
The office claimed it has already brought up the US’ adjustment to its tax ceiling for metals and aluminum with the Thai-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Joint Council (TIFA JC), urging tax waivers for Thai products.
As for opportunities, the ministry believes Thai exporters will find more markets in the two countries and has already set up a study team looking into market penetration strategies. It is believed Thailand can increase its market share by 300 million to 1 billion USD in the United States and by over 300 million USD in China.
Nevertheless, the ministry acknowledged that if trade negotiations don’t bear fruit it will have to implement measures to protect Thai businesses. In milder cases the ministry may approach the World Trade Organization for assistance while more severe cases would require further consideration.