Vehicles as well as auto parts and accessories topped Thai shipments to Asean in the first eight months of this year, valued at 164.8 billion THB, according to figures from the Department of Foreign Trade.
Among the top five exports to the region, the auto sector was followed by fuels, plastics, chemical products, and machinery and parts. Fuel sales grew at the strongest rate of 35.86 per cent for the period, said the department, which comes under the Commerce Ministry. “Asean is now Thailand’s biggest export market. In the first seven months, up to 26.52 per cent of Thailand’s total exports were shipped to countries in the region,” said Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade.
“The most important exports for Thailand are those sent to the Asean states,” said Commerce Minister Sontirat Sonjirawong. “Given Thailand’s location in the centre of the Asean region, we stand to benefit greatly from exporting to other countries in the region, thanks to lower logistical costs. Furthermore, the Kingdom can benefit from functioning as a hub for other countries’ exports to each other,” he said. From January to August, Thai exports to the Asean region grew by 9.04 per cent from the same period last year with Bt 1.45 trillion in total value.