Deutsche Presse Agentur | Mon, 05 Apr 2010
China to replace US as Thailand’s main export market this year
Bangkok — China is on track to replace the United States this year as Thailand’s largest export market, media reports said Monday.
Thai exports to China were valued at 3.2 billion dollars during the first two months of 2010, up 84.4 per cent from the same period last year, the Bangkok Post said, citing a study compiled by the Kasikorn Research Centre think tank.
That jump in Thai exports to China lifted China’s share of the country’s exports from 9.6 per cent last year to 11.5 per cent while exports to the US have dropped to 9.9 per cent in the same period.
"China is now set to be Thailand’s top export destination this year for the first full year," Kasikorn Research Centre said.
Key Thai exports that are enjoying rapid growth in China include electronics, rubber, tapioca and wood products, the think tank said.
The surge in Thai exports to China was attributed to China’s strong economic growth - as opposed to the United States, which was struggling last year to emerge from recession - and the implementation of a free trade agreement on January 1 between China and the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations, to which Thailand belongs. The trade pact reduced import tariffs to zero.