Thailand, Philippines to fix trade imbalance: DTI chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2017 11:28 AM

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha welcomes President Rodrigo Duterte to the Government House in Bangkok. Simeon Celi Jr/Presidential Photo

MANILA – Thailand has committed to grow its imports from the Philippines to cure a trade imbalance between the two Southeast Asian nations, a Filipino official said Wednesday.

Thailand is the Philippines' fourth largest source of imports, accounting for $579.84 million of the total import bill in December last year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Exports to Thailand, in turn, amounted to $170.91 million last December, resulting to a trade deficit of $408.93 million, official data showed.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha assured President Rodrigo Duterte of his government’s commitment to “balance” the deficit during a meeting in Bangkok late Tuesday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

“What they will try to do is balance it in terms of encouraging many of their companies to buy Philippine products so we can increase our exports,” Lopez said.

Duterte will host Thai businessmen later Wednesday to encourage them to invest in the Philippines, he said.