Global demand boosts Thai food exports

02-08-2011 | | |

The value of Thai food exports is expected to reach Bt1 trillion within the next two years thanks to continued high global demand, with sales this year predicted to hit Bt900 billion, said the Federation of Thai Industries’ Food Processing Industry Club and the National Food Institute.

Visit Limprana, chairman of the Food Processing Industry Club, said exports of all food products grew more than 10% per year in volume terms as worldwide demand increased, while product value was also higher than in the past. This has resulted in the forecast of export value touching Bt1 trillion within two years.

He said the club planned to discuss with other associations and organisations how to improve the quality of food products to achieve the target and become the world’s leading food exporter.

National Food Institute director Petch Chinabutr said the fragile US economy and the financial problems in Europe were not major concerns for Thai exporters, since both markets were no longer the world’s biggest importers for the Kingdom’s food products, having been overtaken by Japan and Asean.
However, if the economies in the United States and Europe do not recover soon, they will slightly affect Thai food exports in the future, he added.

Petch said that to maintain good export growth in the sector, the new government should formulate a policy to enhance the efficiency of small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Thailand has about 8,000 food-processing plants, of which 200 are large-scale plants, which are not currently facing major problems. The government should, therefore, focus on the remainder, with food safety its top priority, he said.