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Ascertaining the competitiveness of Thai exports to PRC

Pornlapas Suwannarat (Department of International Business and Management Research Unit, Mahasarakham Business School, Mahasarakham University, Kamriang, Kantarawichai Maha Sarakham, Thailand)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 15 May 2017




This study aims to fundamentally focus on the comparative advantage measurement and the trend of change in the international competitiveness of five Thai economic products exporting to the People’s Republic of China during the first half of the 2010s via the analysis of the revealed comparative advantage (RCA) index and market share.


The RCA index has been computed to show the comparative advantages of the product to a certain extent: whether it is cost-effective to produce that product in a certain location compared to opportunity cost of the resources in producing that product. The data set of number and value of five important export products from Thailand to China during 2010-2013 has been obtained from the Thai Ministry of Commerce and Thai-Chinese Business Information Centre.


The study reveals that of these five important economic products, cassava has the highest comparative advantage and continues to have a rapid growth trend, whilst computer equipment and components have been shown to have comparative disadvantage and the lowest comparative advantage index scores.

Research limitations/implications

Measuring with various sophisticated indices may provide clearer results. Also, according to unavailability of data set, the four-year period may not be able to show the long-term trend of competitiveness. Future studies are encouraged to study in the longer-term period with numerous indices.

Practical implications

The research also provides policy implications and measures to develop each sector to enhance competitiveness.


This is the original attempt to use both indices to assess the competitiveness of important Thai exports to the Chinese market.



Suwannarat, P. (2017), "Ascertaining the competitiveness of Thai exports to PRC", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 275-299.



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