Importers and consumers all over the world have become more confident about products from Thailand, especially labor-intensive products.
Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat said that the positive trends came after the United States Department of State had released the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which upgraded Thailand from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2. The improved placement of Thailand in Tier 2 is a result of the country’s significant progress in combating all forms of human trafficking during the past year.
Mrs. Chantira pointed out that the report has improved the image of Thai products, especially seafood and processed seafood. In 2017, Thailand exported these products worth 997 million US dollars to the United States. During the first five months of this year, exports of these products to the US market came to 343 million dollars.
Apart from the United States, she believed that the improved status of Thailand in the TIP Report would increase Thai fishery exports to Europe and other markets worldwide. Thai trade centers overseas have been instructed to make sure that seafood importers know about the new status of Thailand in the TIP Report.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce stated that Thailand’s trade situation in the second half of 2018 is expected to improve, as several major economic indicators show positive signs. For example, prices of agricultural products, such as rice, tapioca, and maize, are on the rise. As for Thai export growth, it is likely to increase by 9 to 10 percent this years, exceeding the set target.
The value of merchandise exports continued to expand with a growth rate of 13 percent in May 2018 over the same period of last year. In 2017, Thailand exported 11.63 million tons of rice and the volume reached a record high. It has become the largest rice exporter in the world.