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AEC Advance Project to help |enterprises penetrate regional markets

Nov 13. 2013
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THE COMMERCE MINISTRY is joining forces with the private sector in establishing the "AEC Advance Project" next year, which is aimed at helping Thai enterprises penetrate the Asean market.

Jintana Chaiyawonnagal, deputy director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, yesterday said the project formed part of the ministry’s strategy to encourage more enterprises to do business and invest in other countries in the region under the Asean Economic Community, which comes into effect in 2015.

The department has secured the cooperation of the Board of Trade of Thailand and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai National Shippers’ Council, and government agencies including the Interior Ministry, Industry Ministry, Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Ministry and Education Ministry to set up the AEC Advance Project, she said.

Under the project, enterprises will be able to go through their district or provincial administration and access the provincial chamber of commerce or Federation of Thai Industries office for training on starting to do business in other Asean markets.

The project will also give specific advice for each industry and type of business – and for small and medium-sized enterprises in particular – on penetrating each market.

For instance, in the rice sector, the project will educate enterprises from upstream through to downstream about trading in each market, so that they have the in-depth information they need before growing rice, establishing a milling facility or trading in Asean.

For industrial products such as automobiles or garments, it will provide in-depth information about the supply chain in Asean and how businesses can succeed in each market, Jintana said.

The agency chief said the government wanted to encourage more enterprises to do business in Asean after the start of seamless trade under upcoming regional integration. They need to adapt themselves to the new business environment so that they can ensure their survival and stay competitive in the region.

So far, however, it is mainly larger companies and some medium-sized enterprises that are capable of doing business in Asean. Some 98 per cent of enterprises – mainly SMEs – need to be made stronger and encouraged to penetrate overseas markets, she said.

Under the AEC Advance Project, information will also be provided about Asean’s main trading partners – China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand – so that Thai enterprises can strengthen their operations and maximise the benefits of market liberalisation, she said.

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