6 June 2024

The Thai Commerce Ministry has sought support and cooperation from the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), to increase the ability of Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the Japanese market, especially for farm products.

Deputy Commerce Minister Napintorn Srisunpang said that he sought the help during his discussion with JETRO chairman Kurada Jun last week, and both the Commerce Ministry and JETRO have agreed to hold a seminar for Thai SMEs and Japanese business people in Thailand to promote the use and the rights under the FTAs with Thailand and ASEAN, in order to gain greater access to the Japanese market.

There are currently three relevant FTAs, namely the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA), the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Napintorn said he specifically noted hom thong bananas, expecting JETRO to help in finding Japanese startup companies which can provide knowhow and technology, to help improve the quality and productivity of the Thai banana so the fruit can gain greater access to the Japanese market.

During the first half of this year, Thailand exported products worth about US$3.6 billion to Japan under the three FTAs, accounting for 77% of the combined value of export entitlements under the FTAs.

Meanwhile, JETRO chairman said that Japanese businessmen are interested in increasing their investments in Thailand and he invited Thais to invest in hotel businesses in Japan.

He also said that Japan is ready to cooperate with Thailand over trade and economic development and provide training in intellectual property rights to the Thai people.

Bilateral trade between Japan and Thailand, in the first eight months of this year, was estimated at US$59 billion, with Thai exports to Japan amounting to US$24.6 billion and Japanese imports amounting to US$34.4 billion.