Otop 'must focus on quality and creativity'
Japanese community enterprises, which have been the role model for the development of One Tambon One Product (Otop) businesses for more than a decade, have advised Thai producers to focus on quality production, packaging and non-stop creativity to ensure growth during a period of economic uncertainty.Yasutate Abe, director of the Japan Bamboo Museum in Beppu, said that changes in people's lifestyles in the era of modern technology and a slowdown of economic growth had discouraged the growth of local products, including Otop items. However, the makers of such products in Japan have been able to survive because of their close attention to both quality and creativity, he said.
"The economic slowdown in Japan has caused lower spending for many goods, including community-made products. However, local enterprises have not lowered the quality of their goods to lure customers to purchase cheap items, but instead insist on maintaining quality, despite lower purchasing power," he added.
Although some customers have turned to imported goods from countries such as China and Vietnam due to cheaper prices, producers in Japan have chosen to maintain their customer base by focusing on high-end items and creating added value in their products.
As an example of the cost differential, Abe said it cost