The value of Thailand's outward trade during 10M13 contracted 0.02 percent in USD or 2.98 percent in THB – suggesting that this growth engine is still in slumber. Despite a steady recovery in the global economy, it is now believed that the Thai export sector will not be able to fully recover this year due to a number of impediments.
Nevertheless, Thailand's border trade with Myanmar, Lao PDR and Cambodia has been thriving, thus proving that these neighboring nations may become important export destinations in the future. Short-term factors helping to bolster border trade include the high travel season toward the yearend and the SEA Games being hosted by Myanmar. Over the long-term, such trade will likely be supported by growing FDI into these emerging economies plus the coming AEC in 2015. Given that, Thailand should be able to rely on these markets if there is another global economic downturn.
KResearch projects that Thailand's border trade with those three countries will grow at least 10 percent YoY in 2014, bettering the 6.6 percent growth forecast previously. This rosy outlook is in a stark contrast to a projected 1.0 percent contraction in the THB value of overall Thai exports this year.