Malaysia-Thailand border trade grows by 30.26% in 2021

BANGKOK: Border trade between Malaysia and Thailand increased by 30.26% to 627.7 billion baht (100 baht = RM12.60) last year following the reopening of the nine checkpoints along of the borders of the two countries which have stimulated economic activities.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said exports to Malaysia rose 42.62% to 346.6 billion baht while imports rose 18.44% to 281.1 billion. baht last year, resulting in a trade surplus of 65.5 billion baht.

For 2021, he said Thailand’s overall border trade, including transit trade, stood at 1.71 trillion baht, an increase of 30.03% year-on-year (yoy).

He said exports rose 34.6 percent to 1,030 billion baht while imports jumped 23.7 percent to 684 billion baht, resulting in a trade surplus of 347.3 billion baht in 2021.

“Last year, Thailand’s cross-border trade with four neighboring countries, namely Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, amounted to 924 billion baht, a 21.56% year-on-year increase. annual, while transit trade with Singapore, Vietnam, South China and other countries amounted to 791 billion baht, a year-on-year growth of 41.55 percent,” he said. he said in a statement.

For 2022, Jurin said Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to grow between 5.0% and 7.0% to reach between 1.08 trillion baht and 1.1 trillion baht, driven by global and regional economic recovery. .

The deputy prime minister said a weaker baht would increase the competitiveness of Thai products.

He said the new high-speed train linking China and Laos is expected to facilitate the transportation of Thai goods, especially agricultural exports this year.

“The Ministry of Commerce plans to reopen more border checkpoints to boost border trade activities this year. We plan to reopen at least 12 border checkpoints this year to boost border trade,” he said.

So far, 48 out of 97 checkpoints, including the nine checkpoints along the Malaysian border, are operational.

The Thai government closed its border checkpoints to curb the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020, causing trade disruptions as cargo carriers struggled to deliver goods.

Meanwhile, Jurin said the unpredictable pandemic, especially the highly contagious variant of Omicron, will affect the reopening of border checkpoints and the movement of goods along borders.

“The political and economic situation in Myanmar may affect cross-border exports to Myanmar, especially Myanmar’s policy of reducing the use of foreign exchange and controlling imports to reduce the balance of payments,” he said. declared. – Bernama