Known for its good taste and quality, Thai fruit has gained much popularity in foreign countries. Tax waivers from FTAs for exports to partner countries have raised the value of fruit exports in the first 10 months of this year to at least three billion U.S. dollars, making Thailand the 6th largest fruit exporter in the world.
The Department of Trade Negotiations Director General Auramon Supthaweethum, said today that Thai fruit exports continue to expand despite global economic challenges affecting the export sector. This is partially due to more health-conscious consumer behavior, and tax exemption benefits under FTA agreements with partner countries, particularly China, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, and Hong Kong, where all import duties on fresh and frozen Thai fruit are waived. Meanwhile, other FTA partners such as Japan, South Korea, India, and Malaysia have started lowering or waiving import taxes on most types of fruit as well.
In the first 10 months of 2019, the value of Thai fruit exports has reached 3.213 billion U.S. dollar, showing 41 percent growth year-on-year. This makes Thailand the world’s 6th largest fruit exporter, following Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico, the United States, and Chile. The most popular exported Thai fruit are tropical fruit such as durian, mangosteen, and longan, of which Thailand is the largest exporter in the world.
Consumers’ shifting preference towards a healthy diet provides a golden opportunity for Thai farmers and companies to expand fruit exports to foreign markets, but this will require farmers to maintain and even improve the quality of their produce, which will then be fast tracked for export under the FTA agreements.