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Thailand among leading beneficiaries of the U.S.-China trade war

The trade battle has “increased the importance of Thailand” as a base for manufacturing Japanese goods such as auto parts and electronics to be exported to America

Boris Sullivan

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Thailand has been a “leading beneficiary” from the ongoing trade fight between Washington and Beijing, according to Standard Chartered’s Clive McDonnell.

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Although regionally Vietnam has often been named as one of the biggest winners from the fallout of the U.S.-China trade war, he pointed to the Thai baht “appreciating strongly” against the dollar as evidence of the Southeast Asian nation benefiting from the U.S.-China trade war, as reported in a CNBC article.

Since the start of the year, the Thai currency has appreciated more than 6% against the dollar.

The trade battle has “increased the importance of Thailand” as a base for manufacturing Japanese goods such as auto parts and electronics to be exported to America, McDonnell explained in an email to CNBC. Japan is Thailand’s largest source of foreign direct investment, he said.

Regionally, Vietnam has often been named as one of the biggest winners from the fallout of the U.S.-China trade war.

However, data so far suggests that Vietnam has a long way to go before it can match China’s manufacturing capabilities.

Trade

Thailand to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry has launched measures to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year, valued at around 150 billion baht, with Indonesia, China, Bangladesh and Iraq set to be the main markets under government-to-government (G2G) deals.

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Singapore

UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

Singapore’s role as a hub for UK companies, whether as exporters or investors accessing Southeast Asia’s and broader Asian dynamic economies, was elevated by the new UK-Singapore trade agreement (UKSTA) which came into effect on 1st January 2021.

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UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

There was much controversy, before and after the United Kingdom’s (UK) Brexit from the European Union (EU), in talk of it adopting a free trade and manufacturing model similar to Singapore’s.

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Economics

Cross-border trade is expected to grow up to 3-6%

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to recover to growth of 3-6% this year, helped by COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the global economic recovery.

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Foreign Trade Department Director-General Keerati Rushchano said cross-border trade, which includes transit trade, is likely to generate 1.36 to 1.40 trillion baht, up from 1.31 trillion baht in 2020.

According to Mr Keerati, the key risk factor that may derail border trade growth is the political chaos in Myanmar that will weaken purchasing power there and cause a delay in goods transport.

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