Asia: Thailand to increase SMEs by over 3 million in 2018

The Thai government plans to increase the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) by 300,000 to achieve a target of over 3 million SMEs by end 2018. As of 2012, there were 2.7 million SMEs contributing to 37% of Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) and providing over 10 million workforces nationwide.

The government foresees that SMEs hold the key for the country’s economic future and will support them to expand their businesses both locally and overseas. The Government institution dedicated for SMEs, Office of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Promotion (Osmep) has allocated THB 1.2 billion (USD 37 million) to support their growth and estimates that the fund will help SMEs create up to 100,000 products next year which can add value to the economy.

Further to the fund injected by Osmep, Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce also plans to develop a national e-commerce platform to support micro SMEs. The ministry has been collaborating with local banks such as Bangkok Bank to set up Thaitrade.com, an official online market for SMEs to support e-commerce business for the sector. This platform helps to enhance the trade opportunities for SMEs who do exports by pooling all Thailand export products into one e-marketplace.

According to RFi Group data, increase revenue is the top goal among SME owners in Thailand (44%), followed by improved efficiency (42%) and increased business savings (31%). The support given by Osmed and Ministry of Commerce is likely to help small business owners realize these goals.

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