Thursday, August 05, 2021


EXIM bank wants 100,000 Thai SMEs to target foreign markets

The Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Bank) wants to boost the number of Thai SMEs exporting products abroad from the current level of 30,000 to 100,000 within the next four years.

Thailand has an estimated 6 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of which 3.1 million are registered and 2.7 million are informal, according to Exim Bank managing director Rak Vorrakitpokatorn.

These entrepreneurs compete in a market of just 70 million people, where yearly GDP growth is a modest 2 per cent over the past 10 years, Rak said. Also, only 1 per cent of Thai SMEs are exporters, compared to more than 10 per cent in competitor countries.

“The Thai economy is growing at an average of 2 per cent per year, while the country has become an ageing society,” he said.

Compared to neighbours such as Vietnam and Indonesia which have far younger populations, with 60-70 per cent of people of working age, Thailand has little potential because the market is small, said Rak. “Boosting sales is difficult, so what we should do is go to the international market.”

Thai SMEs can plug into the international trade cycle in two ways, Rak said.

The first is to upgrade to an exporter – which may require time in order to build knowledge and experience in various fields.

The second way, which can be done immediately, is via the exporter's supply chain.

“Many Thai SMEs are already part of the exporter supply chain in one way or another. This is because 70 per cent of Thailand’s total export value relies on domestic raw materials,” said Rak.

Published : June 24, 2021

By : The Nation