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Brainstorming session to boost Thai exports

Business startups in the Kingdom increased during the first quarter of this year, but the Ministry of Commerce is moving ahead to organize a brainstorming session with major business groups to boost Thai exports, which have weakened because economies in many of Thailand’s key markets have slowed.
 
The central bank and others have forecast Thailand’s economic growth for 2015 at above 3 percent, but economic activity is picking up at an even faster pace as the number of newly registered companies increased by 12 percent during the first three months of the year, according to the Department of Business Development at the Ministry of Commerce.  Analysts generally view new business registrations as a precursor of stronger economic performance.
 
The acceleration in new registrations was even faster compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, with 17,309 new companies registered during the first three months of this year representing an increase of 32 percent.  In March alone, the number of new firms was up 9 percent year on year, and up 1 percent from February.  Most of the new firms were in construction, property development, restaurants, electricity production, and auditing services. The department is predicting that 60,000 to 65,000 new businesses will register this year.
 
“The upcoming ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration and the establishment of special economic zones have also encouraged more investment,” said Pongpun Gearaviriyapun, director-general of the department.
 
Despite the confidence displayed by business owners, Thailand’s exports have still been anemic, with many analysts expecting minimal or even negative growth for the first quarter. Many blame the poor performance on weak growth and low demand in many of Thailand’s traditional markets, such as Europe and Japan.  China, a key market for Thai goods, has seen its exports fall by 15 percent in the early part of this year, according to some accounts.
 
In response, Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya has called a meeting on April 21 with representatives of the ministries of Industry and Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Board of Trade of Thailand and Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai National Shippers Council, the Board of Investment of Thailand, and various trade associations.
 
Chatchai is asking all who attend to brainstorm ideas and strategies to lift Thai exports in light of the poor trade climate. The ministry is still holding to its prediction, however, that exports will grow by 4 percent for the year.
 
“The government will strengthen ties with private enterprises in seeking new strategies to promote export growth. Exporters in some sectors may need to adjust their strategies and plans to focus on new potential markets, Chatchai said.
 
With global trade in industrial goods falling, the government will focus largely on promoting exports of agricultural products.
 
See the originalarticle at Thailand Focus

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