EXIM Bank urges SMEs to ditch fear and surf ‘digital tsunami’ for Thailand’s recovery
The Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand) has urged the Thai private sector to take advantage of the “digital tsunami” of domestic and international online trade caused by Covid-19.
EXIM’s chairman of executive directors Darmp Sukontasap said businesses that can adapt to the “new normal” online trade surge will be able to capture opportunities and contribute to the Thai economy’s digital transformation.
As such, the public and private sectors must ramp up cooperation to help Thai businesses, particularly SMEs, to use digital technology to reach consumers, he added.
Delivering the opening address at an online seminar titled “Digital Turns Global Trade Around” on Wednesday, Darmp added that borderless trade on online platforms offered a flexible way of adding value to Thai businesses.
Exim president Rak Vorrakitpokatorn noted that while global trade of goods and services shrank 9 per cent and 15 per cent respectively in 2020, e-commerce surged by more than 20 per cent to US$4.2 trillion and is expected to rise to $4.9 trillion in 2021 and $7.4 trillion in 2025. More than 50 per cent of consumers now shop online, and more than 40 per cent of consumers view online entertainment programmes, with growth prospects for gaming products, entertainment media on platforms like Netflix, health technology products, etc, he added.
Rak said Thai businesses – SMEs in particular – must ditch their “no-risk” stance in order to grab opportunities in the new era of global trade. They should be confident in trying out digital technology and services offered by financial institutions such as EXIM Thailand, he added.
EXIM Thailand offers a financing facility, export credit insurance facility and digital system support, such as the Thailand Export Readiness Assessment and Knowledge Management (TERAK) and Thailand e-commerce pavilion.
Rak noted that SMEs are crucial to Thailand’s economic recovery, as they contribute than 30 per cent of the country’s GDP and employ more than 12 million people.
The seminar’s afternoon programme included workshops run by T-GoodTech, Thehubthailand.biz and Alibaba.com in which entrepreneurs tried out trading their goods on online platforms.