Although the future looks mixed for 2015, with some economies such as the United States in full recovery mode and others such as Japan and certain European countries facing hardships, the Ministry believes that the year should be largely positive for exports.
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the Ministry believed Thai export growth of 4% to US$239.43 billion (Bt7.87 trillion) would be achieved for 2015, as reported by Thai newspaper The Nation.
Familiarity and an ageing population spurs growth
Specific to the cosmetics sector, the Ministry stated that exports of Thai-manufactured cosmetics are likely to expand on the back of a continued increase in the number of visitors to Thailand, which has driven a greater recognition of Thai cosmetics brands.
The growth is also being fueled by an increase in the senior age group population worldwide, together with a greater consciousness about health, beauty and cosmetic products.
In particular, manufacturers are projecting that exports of soap and healthcare products will increase by 5% in 2015, while exports of spa-based products are expected to grow by 15%.
Global economic picture still remains uncertain
Looking at the global economic picture, the Ministry did caution that the current trend for falling oil prices might lead to slower global economic growth, which could in turn impact this projected growth in exports.
However, it also stated that shipments throughout the Asean region should grow significantly under the trade liberalisation initiatives implemented through the Asian Economic Community.
Otherwise, the Ministry stated that some of the fastest growing markets for exports are likely to be the Middle East, where there is likely to be an increase in general imports of 5% and an in increase of around 10% to both Russia and India.