Thailand aims to boost SME contribution to GDP by 300 billion baht in 2024

PHOTO: via Accountancy europe

Aiming to raise small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribution to the nation’s GDP to 6.6 trillion baht in the next year. Thailand’s Commerce Ministry is set to collaborate with private firms. This expected increase of 300 billion baht from the current year is part of the ministry’s strategic roadmap for SME development.

Deputy Commerce Minister Napintorn Srisanpang unveiled the plan, revealing that a subcommittee for SME promotion has agreed on a framework to increase SMEs’ contribution to GDP. Currently, SMEs contribute 6.3 trillion baht, equivalent to 35.2% of GDP. The proposed roadmap intends to raise this figure to 36% in the next year, ultimately reaching a 40% GDP contribution by 2027, a further increase of 500 billion baht.

This ambitious plan consists of nine strategies designed to boost SME income. The first strategy involves cooperation between three state departments – the Business Development Department, the Office of SME Promotion, and the Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Ministry. They will deliver training courses to enhance SMEs’ knowledge and skills.

The second plan aims to generate employment through franchise opportunities, targeting jobless individuals, budding entrepreneurs, and families under Section 33 of the Social Security system. This will enable them to select franchises based on their preferences and abilities.

A further strategy will boost domestic spending by promoting community products and SME and One Tambon One Product items to over 2.5 million foreign workers in Thailand. Overseen by the Internal Trade Department, this strategy will provide convenient product packages and a rapid delivery system.

The ministry also plans to raise the profile of geographical indication products both nationally and internationally, to register 20 additional items to the current 193.

Online Sales

Additionally, there are plans to balance prices for agricultural products, including crops, horticulture, and livestock, and to modernise convenience stores using point-of-sales systems. This will improve store management, enhance appearances, increase online sales channels and foster fair competition.

The roadmap includes promoting local SME growth via the SME-GP government procurement system, which enables small businesses to compete in the market and collaborate with the public sector. It also seeks to establish e-commerce standards by promoting registration and providing the DBD Registered and DBD Verified trademarks for business credibility.

The final strategy positions Thailand as a global hub for the jewellery and gem industry, a significant sector for SMEs.

In line with these strategies, the ministry is planning the Thai SMEs Power Expo to be held in Bangkok at the end of March. The expo will provide a platform for SMEs to showcase and sell their products. The event will also feature a business-matching session, seminars on key topics for SMEs, and activities to facilitate financial access.

Expert consultations on business operations will also be available from various departments within the Commerce Ministry, added Deputy Commerce Minister Napintorn. The expo will be followed by an on-tour event covering four regions to support regional SMEs, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

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