The ministry's target is 12.5-per-cent export growth or a value of US$145.9 billion (Bt5.17 trillion) this year.
Although the ministry has not officially reported export figures for January, they are estimated to reach $11 billion, an increase of 15 to 16 per cent, Commerce Minister Krirk-krai Jirapaet said yesterday.
He said that despite many negative factors, including the strengthening baht, the slowing world economy and oil-price rises, the government would aggressively boost exports this year and ensure sustainable growth.
Others negative factors such as uncertainty in politics, labour shortages and rising non-tariff barriers will also affect growth.
At yesterday's meeting in Bangkok with 56 Thai commercial counsellors from around the world, Krirk-krai instructed them to launch a strategic plan to boost export growth.
The local-regional hub idea is part of the ministry's plan to increase export competitiveness among local enterprises.
Krirk-krai said the new local hubs would link overseas trade offices to promote local enterprises in international markets, as well as promote border trade and investment.
"The fundamentals of our economic growth are based on local enterprises. Thus, the local regional hubs will increase not only the potential of Thai enterprises, but create links to international markets," he said.
The local regional hubs include the North, the South, the Northeast and the Central regions. The ministry's inspector-general will be responsible for hub management.