Ministry of Commerce empowers Thai SMEs by giving wings to fly higher in the global market

General Press Releases Monday July 16, 2018 11:41
Bangkok--16 Jul--FIVE W & H

The Ministry of Commerce and its units, the Department of International Trade Promotion and the Department of Foreign Trade have united with the New Economy Academy and the Bangkok Post group, organise a seminar on the topic "Giving wings to Thai SMEs to fly higher in the global Market", as part of the move to help more than 3 million Thai SMEs to compete in the global market. On the seminar day, the success SMEs will share their experience on how to penetrate global trading channels such as the Chinese, Indian and ASEAN markets, including business techniques in bringing about creative digital innovation. Minister of Commerce, Mr. Sontirat Sontijirawong, who presides over the ceremony, delivers an inaugural address on "SMEs: The New Engine Driving the Thai Economy."

Mr. Sontirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Commerce as the Chair of the seminar, mentioned about a significant role of SMEs in driving the Thai economy, saying "The number of Thai SMEs reaches more than 3 million enterprises or 99.7 % of total SMEs with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2018 growing 6% to the value worth 1.74 trillion baht or 42.8% of the GDP. It is evident that SMEs plays a significant role in the domestic economy. In today's rapidly changing business world, SMEs must face stiffer competition, technological disruption and challenges. They must quickly adapt to catch up with Industry 4.0, in which the business world is witnessing rising globalization and digitalization as never before. The government is aware of challenges facing Thai SMEs and has underlined the importance of giving SMEs support by ensuring that SMEs development remain a top national agenda and are driven by every state mechanism. As Minister of Commerce, I will resort to utmost potential – the Department of International Trade Promotion, the Department of Foreign Trade and other agencies – to help support Thai SMEs so they thrive and compete successfully not only in ASEAN but we must empower them so they can penetrate markets in any region.''

"The Ministry of Commerce has helped pave the way for SMEs to access trading venues in important foreign markets such as by bringing products of Thai SMEs into Tesco Group's Innovation Center in the United Kingdom in order to jointly develop and enhance product quality and export them to Tesco stores in the UK, Europe and Asia. The Ministry has also received cooperation from the Department of International Trade Promotion's New Economy Academy and the International Chamber of Commerce in France to help increase Thai SMEs' potential and exchange information on rules and regulations on trade, policies and customs formalities. Other support includes organizing activities to encourage SMEs to possess the mindset of using technology and innovation to reduce cost, increase efficiency, change business format to increase business opportunities and building on businesses in order to survive the digital era. Today's seminar is an example. This commitment is an integral part of our strategic plan in supporting and promoting Thai SMEs, which is an important mechanism driving the Thai economy, to be able to build on business and achieve success,'' Sontirat concluded.

Ms. Banjongjitt Angsusingh, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, said "The value of export by SMEs in the first five months of 2018 (Jan – May 2018) reached 25.467 billion US dollars or 24.5% of total export. Top export markets for Thai SMEs are ASEAN market with a shipment reaching a value of 7.576 billion US dollars, rising by 6%, taking its share of total market shipments to 29.7%, followed by China with a shipment reaching a value of 3.019 billion US dollars with an 11.9% market share. Important export items include gems and jewelry, plastic, plastic products, automotive, parts and accessories. The figures prove that Thai SMEs has the potential to expand export markets especially in ASEAN which is their major market. Thai products are popular in those countries and have gained confidence and acceptance in terms of quality among ASEAN consumers who share similar taste and behavior as Thais. Thus, ASEAN is an important channel which will help support SMEs entrepreneurs to grow in scale. Today's seminar "Giving wings to Thai SMEs to fly higher in the global market", will help support SMEs entrepreneurs to create quality products which meet the needs of consumers in the country and abroad, including enhancing potential and building networks for entrepreneurs, enabling them to penetrate trading venues in China, India, ASEAN and other regions through digital channel and trade representatives who have experience and expertise in the market of each country. Participants will also meet SMEs entrepreneurs who develop and build on their business through innovation and achieve success. They will share their experience, concept, challenges and obstacles including valuable business advice. Seminar participants can effectively apply and adopt strategies learnt from this seminar for their business."

Mr. Krittee Manoleehakul, Managing Director of Tencent (Thailand) Co., Ltd, known as operator of the popular website 'Sanook.com', social media application 'WeChat', music application 'Joox', said "As we all know, China is a huge market. Thai SMEs ship products to China with a value of more than 3 billion baht. Thai businessmen are increasingly interested in searching for business opportunities and expanding market to China especially online market. Around 963 million WeChat users use the application for electronic payment. This application, thus, reaches a massive number of Chinese customers and can become an instrument for SMEs to expand their market to China."

Ms. Patcharaporn Sirisapwong, Marketing and Public Relations Manager of Baidu Thailand said "Baidu, China's most popular search engine, enjoys a 72.73-per-cent market share and is a good venue to attract Thai SMEs to expand their business to China.''

The Ministry of Commerce and other organizers are confident that SMEs operators who attend the seminar "Giving wings to Thai SMEs to fly higher in the global market" will receive valuable advice from speakers in the state and private sector who have experience and knowledge that help strengthen them to be able to compete in the global market. The top experts who will share their experience in penetrating the Chinese, Indian and ASEAN markets include SMEs gurus of Chinese and Indian markets such as Tencent (Thailand) Co.,Ltd, Baidu (Thailand), a giant Chinese IT company, the Thai-Indian Business Council, New Economy Academy. SMEs businessmen who have met with great success imparted knowledge and experience on "Creative Digital Innovation". This important mission will help Thai SMEs to fly higher and steer the Thai economy on a path of robust growth.


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