Thailand's finance ministry is launching measures to counter disruption to the country’s three-billion-baht ($92 million) trade with Russia and Ukraine caused by the outbreak of conflict between the two neighbouring countries.
The ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office has been tasked with analysing the situation, predicting impacts for the Thai and global economies, and drafting response measures, according to finance permanent secretary Krisada Chinavicharana.
Thailand is reliant on imports of Russian fuel, aerospace parts and tourists.
“The conflict may result in higher prices for products and fuel, rising inflation and fluctuation in the currency exchange rate. These are the aspects that the measures to be issued by Fiscal Policy Office will need to cover,” Krisada said.
Bilateral trade between Thailand and Russia rose 12.84 per cent to $2.78 billion last year, according to the commerce ministry. Thai exports to Russia accounted for $1.03 billion, while imports stood at $1.75 billion.
Thailand’s trade with Ukraine, meanwhile, rose 5.56 per cent to $386.47 million in 2021. Thai exports to Ukraine were worth $134.76 million and imports $251.71 million.
Krisada said Thailand would also examine the long-term impact on Thai tourism, as the conflict could hit overseas travel by Russians and Europeans, who are core target groups for Thailand.
The Thai tourism industry might have to switch focus to other markets if the conflict drags on, he added.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK