BANGKOK, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's foreign trade volume totaled 538.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, up 23.1 percent from one year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce announced Friday.
Exports, a main engine powering the country's economic growth, expanded 17.1 percent year on year, the highest growth rate since 2010. Its imports surged 29.8 percent last year, also the fastest pace of increase in 11 years, according to the ministry.
Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit attributed the strong export growth to the rising demand from major trading partners amid global economic recovery, collaboration between the ministry and the private sector, as well as a weaker Thai currency, the baht.
Looking forward, Jurin expected the country's currency and an easing situation of container shortage to further support exports, adding that the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will also help boost exports.
In 2021, China remained Thailand's top trading partner, with bilateral trade volume reaching 103.75 billion dollars, up 30.32 percent year on year. Japan and the United States were Thailand's second and third largest trading partners.
In December, the Southeast Asian country's exports climbed 24.2 percent from one year earlier, while imports gained 33.4 percent year on year, according to the ministry. ■