The Bank of Thailand (BOT) Northern Office announced that
the northern economic situation in October 2004 was improving at a slightly
slower rate than in September, but exports have continued to grow, while
imports have fallen in some areas.
Year on year figures show exports increased by 7.9
percent, or USD 183.1 million, compared to the same period last year.
Exports through the northern industrial region increased by only 2.5
percent, since some factories are in the process of changing their
out-of-date production lines to more modern ones, but worryingly, some have
moved their production base lines to China.
Export merchandise includes electrical circuit boards,
electronics, optical equipment and medical devices which were sent to
Singapore, USA and China. Gross exports to Japan, Hong Kong, and Israel,
however, have dropped.
Export revenue through Chiang Mai International Airport
fell 5 percent, but cross-border traffic increased by almost 45 percent.
Exports to Burma soared 53 percent despite the leadership coup, and to Laos
by 45 percent, with vehicles and construction equipment being the mainstay.
Exports to the south of China grew almost 18 percent, with Para rubber being
the principal export to that region.
Imports from China were down almost 21.5 percent, but
imports from Burma and Laos were both up, covering fish, lignite and wooden
The trade surplus through the northern region in October
2004 was USD 74.4 million, compared to the USD 56.6 million surplus in the
same period last year.