By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
As a major government agency, the ministry is responsible for the country’s trade and wants to develop its professionals to help drive growth.
Srirat Rastapana, permanent secretary at the ministry, said that its officials needed to improve their knowledge of trading and marketing so that they would be better able to help promote trade.
The move is also part of the ministry’s plan to boost growth of exports by 5-7 per cent in 2014. Exports this year are expected to grow less than 4 per cent, much lower than previous forecasts of between 7-7.5 per cent.
Under the plan to train its officers, the ministry will first focus on its 62 overseas Thai Trade Offices and each of its 76 Commercial Offices in the provinces. Srirat said that in addition to overseas officials, the ministry’s domestic staff could help drive trade growth by assisting local producers and domestic enterprises, such as small and medium-sized enterprises and One Tambon One Product (OTOP) producers, in promoting their products to be sold abroad.
Under the training strategy, officers would also be assigned to promote more cross-border trading, expected to exceed Bt1 trillion next year.
The ministry also plans to set up a training school for officials to complete their training before they are posted to both domestic and overseas offices. The training would focus on marketing, trading, macro and micro economics, market liberalisation, intellectual property rights, trade measures, and trade-negotiation skills.
After training, officials would also be rotated between overseas and domestic offices, enabling them to share their trading experience with local enterprises wanting to penetrate overseas markets.