THE COMMERCE Ministry’s e-commerce committee yesterday approved the draft of the five-year national e-commerce plan, aiming to boost local online trade by 20 per cent per year to Bt5 trillion in 2021 from Bt2.52 trillion last year.
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said the plan is expected to almost double business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce to Bt900 billion in 2021 from Bt475 billion currently.
“Thailand’s current trade value of B2C e-commerce is the highest among its Asean peers and accounts for 27 per cent of total B2C e-commerce in Asean. It’s poised to grow much further,” she said.
The ministry would push for more online traders and, based on a recent survey, about 500,000 out of two million SMEs were involved in online trade, she said.
Based on the plan, one of its strategy’s four prongs relates to increasing e-commerce traders’ competitiveness, she said.
The others are ensuring an accommodative environment for e-commerce, facilitating trade on the international front, and increasing the quality and efficiency of support factors to build up confidence for both buyers and sellers.
E-commerce traders particularly the grassroots like farmers and local operators will get rushed to join online trading and existing e-commerce traders will be better equipped for higher competitiveness and exports.
In regard to the environment, the payment system will be upgraded for safety, lower costs and more convenience on the domestic and international fronts.
Packages will also be extended for products to cope with transportation and transport operators will be increased in number with local and international logistics networks.
Among support factors, up-to-date knowledge will be provided to e-commerce operators and a database of payment, transportation and market trends will be set up for them.
SMEs will be urged to gain access to funding sources and financing while village funds will be encouraged to engage in the e-commerce business, while regulatory obstacles will be dissolved.
Online-trade registration will be pushed for inspection and consumer protection will be established through call centres for fast solutions and more confidence for consumers, she said.
Presently, several agencies including the Consumer Protection Board, Digital Economy and Society Ministry and Commerce Ministry are tasked with taking complaints.