MOI’s “SME Transform” aims to put Thai SMEs on the global map

business May 17, 2018

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Recognizing the important role played by Small and Medium Enterprises or SMEs in driving the Thai economy, the Ministry of Industry is organizing "SME Transform”, an event that aims to prepare Thai SMEs to embrace the challenges inherent in the  fast-changing ‘Thailand 4.0’ era. The event, to be held from May 18-20 at Challenger Hall 2, IMPACT Arena, aims to empower Thai entrepreneurs to become ‘SMART’ SMEs and will put the government’s Pracharat Ruam Jai policy into practice by connecting Thai SMEs to the international market.

The Ministry is gearing up to strengthen SME businesses, from upstream through to downstream, while establishing a convenient online platform to push forward Thai SMEs and even OTOP entrepreneurs, to the global marketplace.

Dr. Utama Savanayon, Minister of Industry, said that contemporary technologies are serving as catalysts for change in the modern era. Everything is becoming faster and many times more efficient than ever before. Economic, political and social frameworks, and even interpersonal relationships, are all changing.

This transformation includes the production of goods and the provision of services, business models, consumer behavior, customer demand, the labour market, marketing strategies and financial transactions. Technological changes in this era are also impacting other sectors, bringing about changes among products and services and resulting in altered ecosystems. These technological changes will benefit the broad mass of people, however, those who are not receptive to change will face difficulties.

In organizing this event, the Ministry of Industry hopes to build cooperation among all related sectors to reinforce the strength of public networks and help drive and raise the level of SMEs to ensure a smooth transition into the 4.0 era. The event will enable SMEs to get to know each other and build connections, exchange ideas and gain some tips and ideas from successful entrepreneurs.

SME business operators wishing to up their game have an opportunity to learn and understand how to become “Smart SMEs”. Similarly, farmers seeking to advance into the agribusiness sector or become OTOP operators can also benefit from SME Transform. These entrepreneurs make up as much as 99 percent of all enterprises so even a small development among this group will have a major overall impact.

“At this event we hope SMEs will dedicate themselves to improving themselves and grasping the opportunities available, which are the result of the government’s supportive efforts in all areas, upstream and downstream, to provide entrepreneurs of all levels with access to the technological and financial tools they need as well as help pave the way for modern marketing and e-commerce, so that they can advance to the international stage.”

The event will feature fascinating zones for SME entrepreneurs and members of the public to open their eyes to the changing business landscape in the 4.0 era with various services from business networks, business mentors, financiers and more, as follows:

- Local Economy Zone, facilitating link ups between community products and the tourism sector, and raising the level of community enterprises to professional businesses.

- Startup Zone, with success stories from new generation entrepreneurs and all the services needed to get a business started.

- Spring Up Zone, dedicated to showcasing the tools needed to propel businesses into the 4.0 era and ‘Big Brother’ with large-scale organizations that can provide advice and assistance to help SMEs get on their feet and expand to the overseas market.

- SME ONE Zone, with comprehensive advice on all aspects of business and one-stop services for SMEs.

- Financial Zone, offering attractive SME loan packages and unbeatable promotions from all the representative banks.

- Premium Product Zone, for high-quality SME products at factory prices.

- Inspirational and educational seminars for SMEs wishing to develop their businesses given by experienced speakers including well-known business personalities from the private and public sectors.

Big Brother booths will also feature leading companies that are keen to support SMEs, including PTT, Denso, Lazada, SCG, Tao Kae Noi and more, as well as the ITC (Industry Transformation Centre) Booth with all the tools and information needed to advance to the global stage.

It is expected that at least 50,000 people, including entrepreneurs from SMEs and community enterprises, will attend the three-day event. Of these, no less than 5,000 people will be looking for business promotion and development services as well as loans and business financing from participating bank booths worth at least Bt5 billion.

“The success of this event will only become clear in the long term, when we can see whether the numbers of SMEs requesting support from the various public-sector projects has increased or not, or whether the number of successful businesses increases or decreases. In the meantime, the most important thing is that government agencies constantly adjust their processes in order to meet the demands of business, which is also constantly changing,” said Dr. Utama.