Commerce Ministry’s plan to catapult SMEs to 40% GDP by 2027

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Commerce Ministry unleashed an ambitious plan to elevate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to new heights, targeting a staggering 40% contribution to the GDP by 2027.

A comprehensive strategy is set to turbocharge consumption, investment, government spending, and international trade, propelling SMEs into the forefront of economic prowess.

Acknowledging the pivotal role SMEs play in Thailand’s economic fabric, Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai and Deputy Napintorn Srisunpang are spearheading an initiative to boost the trade activities of SMEs, aiming for a seismic shift in their GDP contribution.

SMEs, constituting a staggering 99.5% of all businesses and employing 70% of Thailand’s workforce, are the heartbeat of the nation’s economic engine. Poonpong Naiyanapakorn, Director-General of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO), affirmed that the time is ripe for a strategic overhaul.

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The TPSO’s meticulous study reveals that in 2022, SMEs generated an economic value of 6.1 trillion baht, accounting for 35.2% of the GDP. To reach the ambitious 40% target by 2027, the economic value needs to skyrocket to 8 to 9 trillion baht, a feat Poonpong deems imperative.

“To achieve this, the Commerce Ministry and related agencies must collaborate closely, igniting consumer markets and bolstering SME capabilities.”

The strategy advocates for a two-pronged approach, focusing on both domestic and international markets. To fuel domestic consumption, Poonpong stressed the need to stimulate Thai consumers, tourists, and foreign workers to patronize SMEs. This involves strategic promotions in key cities, showcasing premium-quality products, and leveraging online platforms for marketing, reported Bangkok Post.

Furthermore, SMEs are urged to align with current consumer behaviours, invest in technology and innovation, and register trademarks for distinctive branding. The government is poised to support these efforts through special funding conditions and facilitating SME access to government procurement.

Internationally, the plan seeks to position SMEs as global players. Entrepreneurs will be guided to international exhibitions, leveraging the Thailand Trust Mark as a branding powerhouse. The push also involves compliance with international standards, exploiting tax benefits under free trade agreements, and venturing into cross-border e-commerce.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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