CONGRATULATIONS TO DITP!: It has been 72 years

From Day 1 until now
The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) within the Ministry of Commerce is marking its 72nd Anniversary on March 12, commemorating its service as it enhances Thailand’s trade competitiveness in the global market through various proactive strategies.

A journey through the seven decades
Established on 12, 1952 under the name of Department of Economic Relations within the Ministry of Commerce, the government agency was given the responsibility to prepare economic plans, coordinate with various state agencies and organisations, and analyse economics and international practices to promote and support Thailand’s economy. This was the first government department to develop national and regional economic plans and projects in major economic fields, including agriculture, industry, logistics, and commerce.
In 1962, the Department of Economic Relations changed its role to organising the very first international exhibitions in Vientiane, Laos and Osaka, Japan previously overseen by the Department of Foreign Trade. Thanks to its great success in promoting Thai products in overseas markets, the Cabinet permanently assigned the department to be the nation’s organiser of international trade shows.
A year later, the authority of the Department of Economic Relations, was expanded to include new responsibilities doing research on economic and trade aspects and so becoming fundamental to the nation’s need to implement the right policies and action plans. Furthermore, in 1966, the department hosted the first Asian International Trade Fair on an 800,000 square metre (or 500-rai) plot of land in Hua Mak, Bangkok.
From 1964, the department played a crucial role in various global trade shows such as the New York World Fair (1964-1965), Expo ’67 in Montreal, Canada (1967), and Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan (1970).
In addition to export promotion, the Department of Economic Relations was given the new role and function of promoting trade within the country and to overseas markets through trade shows, training and seminars, distribution of brochures and information about trade markets, as well as up-to-date trade movements, according to the Royal Decree issued in November 1970.

There was another big move when its name was changed to Department of Commercial Relations in 1972, kicking off its role in integrated export promotion. An Export Service Centre was established in 1975, and Cabinet passed a resolution to appoint an export development committee featuring a partnership between public and private sectors to jointly tackle problems and barriers for exports.
Due to the great effort of the department’s management and support from government and state agencies, the department relocated its headquarters to Ratchadaphisek Road. This move enhanced the efficiency of officials, and encouraged a culture of high morale and conformity.
As a result of its success in organising the Third ASEAN Trade Fair in 1984, the department was invited to provide advice to the Indonesian Ministry of Commerce as they organised the ASEAN Trade Fair in Jakarta held in 1989. At the fair, Thailand’s entry, “Thailand Towards Tomorrow”, was awarded the Best Pavilion.
The Department of Commercial Relations had a name-change to the Department of Export Promotion (DEP) in 1990 and another name shift to Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) that lasted from September 20, 2012 until now.
Throughout the past 72 years of operations, DITP and its differently named predecessors has performed with unwavering determination to strengthen Thailand’s international trade with increased growth and greater competitiveness in the changing global economic and social landscape.
With its vision to position Thailand as among the Top-five countries in Asia for trade competitiveness by 2027, today’s DITP is moving international trade forward through five key strategies. These are:
strengthening Thai products and services through adopting innovations and technology in response to megatrends and future shifts in lifestyles; further penetrating existing markets; expanding into new markets, increasing exports to the global market; promoting e-commerce and economic platforms; developing the capacity of Thai entrepreneurs to prepare for changes in the new economy; and adopting digital technology to upgrade international trade services.

Learn more as we answer the question, “How can we help overseas buyers worldwide?” in Part II.
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