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Sommai Phasee, Minister of Finance.
information pool for entrepreneurs, as well as a bridge spanning the private and government sectors as it supports small and mid-range businesses.
“What we are lacking in Thai SMEs so far are funding, marketing strategies and innovation,” said Sontirat Sontijirawong, president of the federation. He was speaking at “Smart SME Day”, the organization’s launch event held at the C-ASEAN Centre in early February.
“These three things are related and need to be improved simultaneously,” he continued. “Our mission as the Federation of Thai SMEs is to provide cooperation between the private and government sectors to achieve systemized, effective solutions. Our members come from all segments of industry, including provincial cham- bers of commerce, the Cooperative League of Thailand and the Smart SME Club [under People Media Group]. We also plan to reach out to 4,000 small and micro community enterprises [SMCEs] all over the
Chatchai Sarikalya, Minister of Commerce.
country. If we form a community where everyone contributes what they know and helps each other through difficult times, then Thai SMEs can flourish and become a sustainable driving force of the economy.”
“Thailand became an emerging economy through SMEs,” said Sommai Phasee, Minister of Finance. “And since the end of August, when General Prayuth was sworn into office, the government has initiated both short and long-term measures to revive domestic consumption and investment and lay down a good foundation for the future. What we have been trying to do for the past few months is rebalance and restructure the economy. One of our important long-term plans is to encourage new strategic industries, so we reduced the approval period for factory licensing to under 30 days. We also reduced customs duties for raw materials to improve our competitiveness. And to prepare for the AEC we invested in a plan with Myanmar to improve roads connecting the countries.”
Chatchai Sarikalya, Minister of Commerce, also assured that the government is giving SMEs its full support.
“We need to invest and put more effort into getting Thai SMEs ready for the AEC as well as for the global market,” he said. “This year the ministry hopes to accomplish three fundamentals: foster SME investment systematically, develop business capacity and build a larger network among entrepreneurs. We have to enhance business as a whole – big, medium and small enterprises. There is a lot that SMEs can learn from big business and if we can form a commu- nity where knowledge and know-how is effectively exchanged, success won’t be far off.”
Helping in terms of innovation and execution of new ideas is the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR). Entrepreneurs who want to improve existing products or manufacture innovative ones can turn to the institute.
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