Thai Food Exports Expected to Reach 950 Billion Baht This Year
- Foreign Office, Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
- October 12, 2011
Thai food exports this year are expected to reach 950 billion baht, an increase from 850 billion baht last year.
President of the National Food Institute Petch Chinabutr said that Thai food exports were unlikely to reach one trillion baht, as forecast earlier, because of flooding in many provinces this year. Even so, they would still enjoy higher growth.
Mr. Petch stated that, as a consequence of flooding, entrepreneurs would find it difficult to locate raw materials, especially agricultural products, such as rice and tapioca. This impact would be felt until next year, when prices are expected to increase, as more time is required to plant these crops in order to make up this year’s losses. Because of flooding, another problem faced by traders is that they may not be able to transport raw materials to factories, or send products to customers, in time.
Today, Thai food exports to ASEAN account for 60 percent of Thailand’s total food exports, to the United States and Europe 20 percent, and Japan 15 percent. Seafood exports are likely to face a slight impact and are expected to recover early next year.
The National Food Institute has sought a budget 600 million baht from the Ministry of Industry to launch a project to promote Thai food safety for the world. The three-year project, to be carried out from 2012 to 2014, seeks to develop the potential of over 8,000 food factories nationwide in order to prepare for the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. More food-producing factories will be developed to an export standard in order to enhance the competitiveness of Thai entrepreneurs.
Industry Minister Wannarat Channukul earlier announced a policy to seriously develop the food industry under the “Kitchen of the World” project. Emphasis will be placed on promoting creative food, developing market channels at various levels, and improving food safety standards.
The Kitchen of the World project was launched a number of years ago. With its high nutrition and unique flavors, Thai food has become one of the most popular dishes in the world. Spices and fresh herbs play a vital role in Thai cuisine, and not only do they add a wonderful taste to the food, but there is therapeutic value in many of the ingredients.
The Ministry of Industry is giving a major boost to promoting the food industry on a full-cycle basis, in order to create confidence in the quality and safety of Thai food at the international level. The Master Plan for the Food Industry, 2010 to 2014, focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of food exports and creating confidence in the quality and safety of Thai food among both local and international consumers. A target has been set to increase the export value of Thai food by at least 10 percent a year.
The Government is also striving to promote Thailand into a health and creative food center in order to add value to food products.