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Phuket pilots ‘social enterprise’ to boost rural incomes

PHUKET: Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda arrived in Phuket yesterday (Mar 31) to launch the country’s first “Social Enterprise” specifically to help rural communities raise their standard of living by developing their local economies.

By Darawan Naknakhon

Friday 1 April 2016, 10:50AM

Speaking at Phuket Provincial Hall, Gen Anupong said “Pracharat Raksamakkee Phuket is the first community enterprise in Thailand and today we introduce many activities involving business development to push the new Pracharat (‘People’s State’) economic policy, which will help residents generate more income by focusing on three areas: agriculture, transformation and tourism.”

“Phuket is the first province to pilot this project because the island is ready and has much produce here that is connected to tourism,” Gen Anupong explained.

The island also has a large production foundation that connects with surrounding provinces and is already promoting the development of organic vegetables, milk, lobster farming, batik fabric production, he added.

The aim of the state enterprise is to educate local communities on business strategies and develop diversified revenue streams to mitigate any drastic effects on communities dependent on income derived from a single industry.

“We want to people to understand the five basic business concepts: production factors, management, education, marketing and communication,” Gen Anupong said.

Under the state enterprise project, there will be 12 steering committees nationwide comprising members from the public and private sectors, he explained.

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“The steering committees will be set up to help transform our vision for Pracharat and they will work with local Pracharat committees, which each will be composed of government officials and private sector individuals, to push the project,” Gen Anupong said.

The Phuket Pracharat committee will be led by Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipyapongtada and Thapana Siriwatnaphakdee Managing Director of Thai Beverage Co Ltd.

“We are focusing on helping people to understand many aspects, such as capital, investment, management all the way to selecting seeds,” Mr Thapana said.

“We will educate them on transforming produce from agriculture into a community product and develop the area into a tourism community. We also will help them find markets for their products and provide them with related news and information,” he added.

“Shareholders in the company will oversee the operation with the aim of benefiting society, not to generate highest income. All profits will be used to toward improving businesses, no dividends will be paid to anyone,” Mr Thapana explained.



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