Thailand has reportedly become the world's largest exporter of rubber, based on a free trade agreement with 16 partners.
According to the international trade negotiations office of Thailand's Ministry of Commerce, rubber exports amounted to $4.6 billion in 2018, accounting for 1.82 percent of the country's total exports.
China is the country's largest rubber export market, with $1.9 billion in exports, accounting for 43 percent of Thailand's rubber exports, the agency quoted agency official Oramon Subthaweetham as saying.
Other markets include southeast Asia, the United States, Japan and South Korea.
The official said rubber exports have continued to grow since Thailand signed free trade agreements with its trading partners.
So far, Thailand has signed 13 free trade agreements with 16 partners, including nine asean countries, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru and Hong Kong.
Only two big export markets, India and China, still impose import duties on Thai products.
Thailand's recent free trade agreements with Hong Kong and Australia will help the country maintain its rubber exports and exports this year, the official said.
Thailand's exports to Hong Kong and Australia rose 57 per cent and 22 per cent respectively in the first seven months of this year.
In order to maintain its status as a major exporter of rubber, oramon said, Thailand's office for international trade negotiations will consult with more countries on free trade agreements to raise the global profile of Thai rubber products.
The office gives priority to China, India, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and countries participating in the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP).
He also warned Thai producers to maintain product quality in line with export market standards.