Bangkok: Because Thailand’s economy is driven by exports, making logistics smoother is a national priority.
Thailand’s economy, as measured by the GDP, is directly influenced by logistics costs. Because of this the government has set out goals to decrease logistics costs dramatically in the coming years.
Thailand is pushing hard to become ASEAN’s logistics hub. As part of this, it has established the ELMA Awards, a strategic project under the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, with an ultimate objective to develop Thai logistics service provider capabilities.
Jatuporn Wattanasuwan is the director of Office of Service Trade & Trade Logistics, at the Department of International Trade Promotion, part of Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce. She tells Maritime CEO: “Nowadays, supply chain competition has become a significant competitive context of global business.” She identifies the kingdom’s strategic geographic location as one of its key strengths.
“Thailand’s location on the South China Sea gives the country access to the main east – west shipping routes from China to Europe and the East Coast of the US,” she says. The country is also well located to meet its own trading needs, as it is within short shipping distance of its Asian trade partners.
Thailand is also one of eight participants in an intergovernmental program to create a trans – Asian freight railway network. If the project goes ahead, it is expected to boost long – term trade links with neighbouring states and expand regional demand for Thailand’s ports.
Moreover, the ASEAN – China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) is expected to boost trade between country members, which includes Thailand.
The rapid development of automobile production and exports has created demand for roro shipping services, Wattanasuwan notes. Thailand is one of the world’s top automobile manufacturers.
“The Thai government recognises the growing demand of logistics service providers in such changing business context, and then strategically aims to support Thai logistics service providers to compete internationally,” Wattanasuwan concludes.