The "Prepare Thai Farming Sector for AEC" seminar, held as part of the Thailand Research Expo 2010 yesterday, was told that the local farming industry would not enjoy this trade surplus for much longer if it did not get ready for trade liberalisation under the Asean community. The AEC will be fully enforced in the next four years.
Thailand is Asean's largest exporter of agricultural products, with a market share of 18.2 per cent. During the first half of this year, farm goods exported to Asean countries totalled Bt703.85 billion, while imports stood at Bt484.5 billion. Thailand thus enjoyed a trade surplus of about Bt219 billion.
In addition, once investment is liberalised under the AEC, some sectors in the farming industry will be opened for Asean investors. Manufacturers will also be able to relocate to countries that have lower labour and production costs.