The Thai Commerce Ministry has set the export growth target for next year in a range of 8-9% to US$250.41 billion.
Next year’s growth will be driven mainly by healthy expansion in shipments of automobiles, electrical appliances, rubber products, construction raw materials, canned and processed seafood, raw and processed poultry.
But the sectors that will see exceptional growth are automotive and raw and processed chicken, which are expected to expand 15% and 12% respectively.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said the key risk factors would stem mainly from Europe, as the sovereign debt crisis is unlikely to be addressed in the short term.
Domestically, the key concern is the daily minimum wage, which is set to increase to 300 baht nationwide early next year, he added.
The ministry will update and evaluate the export performance after May next year so that the government has time to fine-tune its export strategies.
In addition, he said the International Trade Promotion Department has established a centre to monitor world economic conditions and evaluate their impacts on Thai exports.
For the first 10 months of this year, exports saw a marginal increase of 0.34% from the same period last year to $191.86 billion, with imports totalling $206.11 billion, up 7.15%. The trade deficit for the period was $515.05 billion.
For the last two months, Mr Boonsong said exports were expected to stand at about $20 billion baht on average, raising export growth this year to about 4.17%.