Thai economy sees upbeat signs in first quarter

Thailand’s economy saw upbeat signs in the first quarter of this year with export turnover surpassing US$62.8 billion, up 11.3 percent year-on-year.

According to the latest statistics released by the Thai Commerce Ministry, the country’s exports fetched over US$22.36 billion in March, an increase of 7.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Its major export markets included the US, India and Southeast Asian nations. Commodities with high export growth were computer, petrol, plastic products and electronic chips.

In the January-March period, Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of over 1.9 billion USD.

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Tourism is also a bright point in the Thai economic picture in the first quarter. According to the country’s Ministry of Sports and Tourism, Thailand welcomed 10.6 million international arrivals, earning 189 billion THB (US$6 billion) in revenue, a year on year increase of 15.4 percent and 19 percent respectively.

The Commerce Ministry also revealed that Thailand and Turkey are holding the third negotiation round for the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) from April 24-26 in Ankara, Turkey.

Auramon Supthaweethum, head of the Trade Negotiations Department of the Commerce Ministry, this negotiation round will focus on customs procedures and health care service quality standards.

The FTA is expected to minimise trade barriers and expand investment opportunities for Thai and Turkish businesses, allowing Thai companies operating in the fields of automobiles, electronics, plastics, rubber and home appliance to expand their market shares in the European country.

Two-way trade between Thailand and Turkey hit US$261 million in the first two months of 2018, up 11.4 percent against the same period last year.