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Commerce Ministry introduces policies to help farmers, small retail businesses, exports

Sep 24. 2019
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By The Nation

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The Commerce Ministry will push three policies to resolve the low prices of five agricultural goods, increase exports across borders and register geographical indication products for sale on e-commerce markets, Deputy Commerce Minister Sansern Samalapa said on Tuesday.

“The first policy the ministry will focus on is to fix the economy from bottom to top,” he said. “By promoting five key products – rice, rubber, tapioca, coconut and corn – we can help increase the purchasing power of farmers, who form the majority of Thai citizens. We are also planning to upgrade 400,000 local grocery stores nationwide with smart features to drive the retail business in communities and stimulate the economy,” he added.

The second policy is to stimulate macroeconomics to increase the revenue of entrepreneurs and distribution of funds using three export strategies: expand existing markets, open new markets and recover lost markets.

“This policy will include increasing exports across the borders, which is currently worth 9 per cent of our total international trade. The Commerce Ministry has already proceeded with this policy in the South and Northeast and is planning to expand this to cover other areas soon,” Sansern said.

“The third policy is to push the business sector to keep up with new economies such as a bio economy, green economy and creative economy,” he said. “This includes moving forward with e-commerce and registration of intellectual properties, especially geographical indication items to increase the value of our products, making Thailand the centre of new economies in the region.”

Sansern said another urgent issue that the ministry is working on is to finalise negotiations on free trade agreements with existing partners, as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

“We are planning to close these pending deals before the year-end,” he said. “After that, the ministry will seek pacts with other countries including the European Union, England, Pakistan and Turkey.”

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