By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE COMMERCE Ministry plans to ask the Cabinet next week for an additional budget of Bt1.5 billion to support the multi-agency project to spur exports and create a sustainable economic structure for the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Suvit Maesincee said yesterday that the budget would be spent over three years to implement a plan to drive the growth of the local economy as well as to guide local enterprises foraying into the global market.
Many government agencies as well as the private sector were involved.
Under the Commerce Ministry, there was the Internal Trade Department, International Trade Promotion Department, Foreign Trade Department, Business Development Department and the Intellectual Property Department.
The Industry, Interior and Agriculture ministries were also cooperating.
From the Bt1.5 billion budget, Bt620 million would be spent for driving the local economy and Bt880 million for promoting doing business overseas and exporting.
The project targets increasing incomes for local farmers by 15 per cent this year, border trade by 15 per cent and the number of Thai businesses operating in border provinces by 20 per cent from the current 96 firms.
Malee Choklumlerd, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said to promote overseas trade, the government will focus on spending to drive trading and investing overseas, as well as to promote tourism.
The department will help train local enterprises on how to do business abroad, boost their brands from the current 500 to 650 in five years and make their Thai brands known internationally.
Thailand has about 10 brands that have been accepted as global brands. The government has targeted 40 more brands in five years.
The government will usher more Thai enterprises into the e-commerce business. Thailand has 20,000 online traders now. That base will expand to 100,000 traders in three years and 200,000 in five years.
Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said that to stimulate the local economy, money will be spent showing local farmers and businesses how to produce crops and farm products that better serve the demands of the market.
The government will also move to develop local markets into central markets for farm goods, and to set up distribution centres connecting farmers to consumers.
The government will support the development of each village into a trading village, starting with at least 10 villages, she said.