Exports of goods and services for December 2010 were up 18.8 per cent on the same month last year to stand at 516 billion baht (US$17.37 billion), Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai said.

December exports rise 18.8%

Thailand’s government has increased this year’s budget by 6 percent so it can spend more to buoy the economy, which Abhisit yesterday said should rebound in the second half.

Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai on Tuesday revealed Thailand’s exports in December 2010 totaled US$17.37 billion in value, up 18.8 per cent from the same month the year before, bringing the exports for the whole year up by 28.1 per cent to $195.31 billion.

She attributed the sound export growth to an increase in shipments of almost all kinds of agricultural and industrial products thanks to the improvement of economies in the United States and Asia.

She said imports in December totaled $16.08 billion, up 11.5 per cent, raising imports for the whole year by 36.5 per cent to $182.41 billion.

The imports rose in almost all categories of products, particularly raw materials, capital goods, consumer products, and fuel.

It resulted in the country enjoying a trade surplus of $1.29 billion in December and $12.91 billion for the entire year of 2010.

Mrs Pornthiva said the ministry expected that exports for this year would grow by 10 per cent despite risk factors from the global economic slowdown, the stronger baht, the capital movement, and higher fuel prices.

With the increased demand for Thai products in the world market, successful efforts to penetrate new markets and maintain existing ones, and public and private cooperation to boost exports of all categories of products, the ministry believed that export growth for 2011 would be reached as targeted.
However, measures for the medium term that will enable Thailand to poise itself for higher and sustainable growth as the global economy recovers in the next few years are no less important. While coping and mitigating with the impact of the financial crisis in the short-run, it is equally important for all stake holders in Thailand to prepare for a recovery in global demand and ensure sustainable growth thereafter. The global economy is projected to recover over the next few years and, thereafter competition will intensify.

So far, two tranches of the TKK Program (2009-2012) worth Bt350 billion (US$10.5 billion) have been released, with the first tranche in the amount of Bt200 billion and the second tranche of Bt150 billion.

The focus of the TKK Program so far has been on quick disbursing investment projects as well as transfers and subsidies to local governments, communities, and farmers. A large share of the package is allocated to the agriculture and education sectors and community spending. Around two-thirds of the Bt350 billion or Bt230 billion is to be used for construction and equipment purchase, of which around three-quarters or Bt175 billion (1.9 percent of GDP) is expected to be disbursed in 2010, thus contributing to public investment.

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December exports rise 18.8%

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