September 6, 2018 / 6:44 AM / 3 months ago

Thai shippers raise export growth forecast, see trade war opportunities

BANGKOK, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Thailand’s exports are expected to grow 9 percent this year, better than the 8 percent predicted earlier, as global demand remains strong, a group of Thai shippers said on Thursday.

While global trade disputes are a concern, they should provide Thailand an opportunity to export more to the U.S. and Chinese markets, Ghanyapad Tantipipatpong, chairwoman of the Thai National Shippers’ Council, told a briefing.

“July’s export data was still good news, so this year’s 9 percent growth is quite certain,” she said.

Exports, a key driver of Thailand’s growth, rose 8.3 percent in July from a year earlier and 10.57 percent in January-July.

In 2017, shipments increased 9.9 percent..

Thai exports should also be boosted by relaxed non-tariff barriers among Southeast Asian countries and some businesses relocating their production base to Thailand, Ghanyapad said.

The strength of the Thai baht, Asia’s second-best performer this year, was a risk, she said.

Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Eric Meijer

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