News From : DagangHalal.com (27 May 2009)
A new export guarantee programme from the Islamic Bank of Thailand (Ibank) is aimed at helping Thai halal food manufacturers conquer Middle East markets.
Ibank president Dheerasak Suwannayos yesterday signed an agreement with Apichai Boontherawara, the president of the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Bank), to arrange export credit guarantee services for halal exporters.
Thailand is the world’s seventh-largest halal exporter, with annual revenue of more than 50 billion baht, said Mr Dheerasak. Exports are also rising by double digits each year, with some manufacturers seeing sales grow as much as 40%.
Global imports of halal food are estimated to be worth US$265 billion per year.
Export guarantees will reduce credit risks for Thai exporters, particularly in markets such as Sudan and South Africa where Thai companies have encountered settlement problems.
”We hope that this service will help reassure exporters when entering new markets,” said Mr Dheerasak.
Seafood such as canned fish makes up much of Thailand’s halal exports. Processed chicken, another major Thai export, has yet to grow significantly in the halal segment as some countries have raised doubts over whether local slaughtering methods comply with the regulations of Islamic law.
Export credit guarantees, which protect exporters in cases of non-payment, are likely to be popular among Ibank clients, said Mr Dheerasak.
The guarantee service is expected to constitute 4 billion baht of the 6 billion baht in trade financing arranged for halal producers each year.
Pruektichai Damrongrut, a deputy finance minister, said the government had set aside 14.9 billion baht to raise capital for state banks such as Exim Bank to support their lending activities.
Authorities are considering allocating between 3 and 5 billion baht of the funds for Exim Bank alone to ease exporters’ access to credit.
Dr Apichai said 5 billion baht more capital for Exim Bank would raise its capacity to offer credit guarantees to 100-150 billion baht.
By: WICHIT CHANTANUSORNSIRI
Source: Bangkok Post : Business