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Friday, July 19, 2024

Thailand: Ministry lays out five-point plan to strengthen Thai SMEs

Focusing on green energy and a highly skilled workforce, the plans include developing entrepreneurial capacity, adopting technology and promoting low-income loans

The Industry Ministry has laid out a five-point strategy to support Thailand’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in adjusting to global industrial trends in the new era that focuses on using clean energy and having high-skilled labour.

Speaking at a seminar titled Smart SME 2024 “Empowering The Next Wave” on Wednesday (June 12), Industry Minister Pimphattra Wichaikul underscored the importance of promoting Thai SMEs to be a part of the supply chain for target industries, including high-tech manufacturing and electric vehicles, which are a central policy of the government. 

The event was hosted in Bangkok by Post Today, a Thai-language online news platform.

“The government supports technology adoption to enhance the production process, including promoting the use of clean energy and providing knowledge and training to improve the workforce’s skills,” she said. “The Prime Minister prioritises the promotion of SMEs at the same level as attracting foreign investment.”

She added that the ministry will develop the Thai industry to grow in parallel with various countries, encompassing economic, social, and environmental aspects, complying with international regulations, fostering competitiveness, and caring for society and communities to improve people’s quality of life. This goal will be carried out under five-point plan as follows:

1. Develop target industries that are in line with future trends by enhancing productivity for businesses, fostering innovation through advanced research, accelerating the development of entrepreneurial capabilities within the country, and attracting leading global manufacturers to invest in Thailand. The move will focus on the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) area as well as industrial estates nationwide, with the goal of making SMEs a crucial part of the supply chain.

2. Develop traditional industries with high potential to align with global trends and other economic sectors. Implement strategies to enhance productivity, innovation, and standards as tools to increase competitiveness in industries where Thailand has potential, such as agricultural, halal food, recycling, and innovative construction.

3. Promote creative economy by using soft power to boost the country’s competitiveness on the global stage, including arts, culture, and folk wisdom, which are considered crucial Thai assets.

4. Develop environmentally friendly industries by enforcing laws that limit pollution emissions and improving relevant regulations. Collaborate with businesses to enhance industrial waste management, actively address the PM 2.5 problem, and prepare Thai SMEs for climate change.

5. Promote community enterprises by providing support in terms of knowledge, technology, and access to low-interest loans. For instance, the SME Development Fund this year has prepared loans totaling 1.9 billion baht for Thai SMEs, while SME D Bank has earmarked 15 billion baht for entrepreneurs joining the SME Green Productivity programme. 

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