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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 14:11, December 22, 2006
Thai trade surplus in November highest in 6 years
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Thailand enjoyed a total export value in November of over 11 billion U.S. dollars, surging 20.7 percent from last year, with a trade surplus of 2.19 billion dollars for the last 11 months, Thai Commerce Ministry has revealed.

Rachane Potjanasuntorn, Director-General of the Export Promotion Department under the Commerce Ministry, said that the country recorded total exports of 11.87 billion dollars in November, up 20.7 percent from the corresponding period last year, and 118.99 billion dollars in the first 11 months of this year, up 17.2 percent, Thai News Agency reported Friday.

Imports in November totaled 10.13 billion dollars, up 3.5 percent, and 116.8 billion dollars in the first 11 months, a rise of 7.5 percent.

The numbers led to a trade surplus of 1.74 billion dollars in November, the highest in six years, and 2.19 billion dollars for this year's first 11 months, compared with a trade deficit of 7.09 billion dollars in the corresponding period last year.

Judging from the export performance in the last 11 months, Rachane said he was confident exports for the whole year would exceed 130 billion dollars, up 17.5 percent, as targeted by the Ministry.

He said the exports surpassed 10 billion dollars for the seventh consecutive month mainly because the government had attempted to penetrate new export markets and cooperate with the private sector to maintain existing markets.

It is believed the country would enjoy the trade surplus of at least 3 billion dollars for the whole year.

Rachane said although the stronger baht remained a pressing factor to exporters, Thailand still retained export competitiveness.

He said that exporters' concerns over the strengthening baht should relax since the government had already taken measures to curb the currency volatility, which is seen as a risk factor to exports.

The Bank of Thailand announced on Monday in what was regarded a harsh resort to stop baht speculation, to impose a 30 percent reserve on short-term foreign capital inflows. The measure has sent the Stock Exchange of Thailand composite index nosedive by nearly 15 percent on Tuesday, the deepest ever drop in the bourse's 31-year history.

The government insisted the move was needed to protect local exportors, who contribute 60 percent of the country's GDP, from being harmed by the continued appreciation of the baht.

Rachane said the ministry would cooperate with the private sector next year in pushing for export growth of at least 10-12.5 percent to 140 billion dollars.

Source: Xinhua

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