BANGKOK, July 10 (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce said on Friday that it is urging government leaders to allow nine border checkpoints to reopen, as border trade has fallen nearly 10 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Thai government had instructed that Thailand’s borders be shut to prevent influx of illegal migrants, of which some may be carrying the virus.
Border trade from January to May has been recorded at 524.35 billion baht (16.75 billion U.S. dollars), falling 9.71 percent from the same period of last year, said the Ministry’s Department of Foreign Trade.
Exports totaled 305.72 billion baht (9.76 billion U.S. dollars) while imports were at 218.632 billion baht (6.985 billion U.S. dollars), a drop of 9.03 percent and 10.65 percent respectively.
The resulting trade surplus was at 87.093 billion baht (2.78 billion U.S. dollars), said the department’s director-general Keerati Rushchano.
The department head said that Malaysia was Thailand’s top partner in border trade from January to May, followed by Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
However on the global scale, China remains Thailand’s top partner with trade rising 15.74 percent to 90.740 billion baht (2.9 billion U.S. dollars), followed by Singapore.
Thailand has a total of 97 checkpoints, but only 28 remain open during the pandemic. Enditem