The Federation of Thai Industries FTI expects Thailand’s exports of natural rubber and its products to double in the next five years.Speaking at a seminar on “Upgrading Natural Rubber Cluster Competitiveness,” FTI vice president Payungsak Chartsuthipol said Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of natural rubber with an annual value of around Bt500 billion.

It is expected that rubber exports will rise by 10 per cent with a value of over Bt500 billion this year.He said FTI has targeted developing the natural rubber industry in a cluster form so it could compete with Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

It hoped to see the value of rubber exports to increase to Bt800-900 billion in the next five years.At present, Thailand exports 88 per cent of the natural rubber in raw form with the remaining 12 per cent being processed products valued at Bt150 billion.Prayong Hirunyavanich, chairman of the Rubber and Rubber Wood Cluster Committee, said FTI wanted to double the export of processed rubber products to 24 per cent from 12 per cent of total production.

He said the most effective way to boost processed rubber exports is to encourage foreign rubber producers with high technology to invest in the processed rubber industry.It is also necessary for the government to adopt a policy to promote investment in the production of processed rubber, eliminate obstacles to the development of the industry, and to improve tax laws to ensure clear collection.Other approaches include allowing prices of processed rubber products to move by market mechanisms and to boost small- and medium-size enterprises SME’s competence to process natural rubber into various kinds of products.

via MCOT English News : FTI expects natural rubber exports to double in next 5 years.

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