October 1, 2008


Japan surpasses US to become Thailand's biggest export market



The Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA), effective since November 2007, has allowed Japan to surpass the US as Thailand's largest export destination.


Exports totaled US $28.96 billion in the period January to July 2008, up 18 percent compared to the same period in 2007.


Shrimp and animal feed were among the items that saw the largest increase, according to Makoto Shiota, deputy director general for international regional policy of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.


As shrimps have become one of the major export products, the Thai government is espousing sustainable production.


Sustainable development would help to improve the industry's negative image, which was perceived to have destroyed mangroves over the past two decades.


Hygienic production and sustainable development would be strong points the industry could use to promote its products abroad, given food safety concerns currently, Niwat Suteemechaikul, director-general of the Thai Fisheries Department, said.

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