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Phuket overlooked in micro-SME support plan

PHUKET: Phuket has been overlooked in a new national policy to lend support to “micro-SMEs” – businesses that are smaller than small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – to help strengthen the Thai economy

economics,


The Phuket News

Saturday 13 May 2017, 10:00AM


A great little business in Phuket, but don’t expect any support from the central government if you are based in Phuket. Photo: Phuket Buns
A great little business in Phuket, but don’t expect any support from the central government if you are based in Phuket. Photo: Phuket Buns

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak was to chair a meeting to brainstorm with other senior officials from the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion and the Industry Ministry to seek new measures to support micro-SMEs, Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana told The Bangkok Post last week. (See story here.)

“Micro-SMEs constitute a group that has been overlooked for such a long time,” he said. “That's why we are trying to lend a helping hand to them, as we recognise those small businesses as a foundation of the Thai economy that should be supported.”

Micro-SMEs were initially defined as small businesses, or family businesses, that have fewer than five employees and do not register as companies.

Mr Uttama said that by supporting such enterprises, the government would eventually help bolster the overall economy.

He said that since micro-SMEs are very small, it is hard for them to secure financial support from local banks or other financial institutions, which normally require assets to be put down as collateral before lending loans.

Mr Uttama said the government would start lending support to micro-SMEs in eight provinces, mostly major cities with busier economic activity, before expanding aid to other ones.

C and C Marine

However, Phuket as the burgeoning hub of economic growth for Southern Thailand, is not among the eight areas to benefit from the project. The eight provinces are Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Pathom, Chon Buri, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Krabi and Songkhla.

Mr Uttama explained that at first, the government plans to draw money from existing SME-supporting funds, expecting to get B3.8 billion that would be made available to help micro-SMEs.

The exact measures for allocating those funds remain to be figured out, Mr Uttama said.

In addition to financial aid, Mr Uttama said the government also plans to lend marketing strategy support to help micro-SMEs penetrate new markets and cut costs.

“Assistance in marketing will help strengthen micro-SMEs’ competitiveness in the long-term,” he said. “Ultimately, they will be able to develop themselves further to match the concept of Thailand 4.0, which needs more small but powerful companies that rely on new innovation.”

According to the Industry Ministry, the state aims to lend support to 3,000 companies this year after helping 10,000 last year.

 

 

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