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Economy November 27, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

MOST BUSINESSES STUCK IN 2.0 ERA, SURVEY FINDS



ONLY a small number of firms in the agribusiness and food processing business have adopted high technology and digital innovation to their operations, a survey has found.

Sauwanee Thairungroj, |president of University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce yesterday said that the university’s survey, has found that 2.9 per cent of firms have been able to successfully adapt Thailand 4.0 technologies to their operations.

Of the surveyed firms, 72 per cent were still at the 2.0 stage, using labour and small machines. About 2 per cent of those surveyed deploy heavy machines using 3.0 technology. A full 23 per cent, including most small firms, continue to heavily rely on labour. 

Many participating firms, about 42 per cent, were aware that using technology is crucial for their |business. 

About half of the sample of total 1,219 firms, said they have already adopted technology to their business operations. About 66 per cent of them currently have incorporated e-commerce. 

Of those who have not yet adopted technology, some raised issues of the high cost and questioned the necessity, while others said that relying on labour is alright.

Firms want government support for technology investments. Some prefer tax incentives, while others want the government to provide them with a training course.

Mongkol Leelatham, president of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand, said his bank provides soft loans to firms with an interest rate charge of 1 per cent annually in order to help them to adopt new technology.

The bank will also use the survey results as an input to develop its new financial products and training services for companies, he said. 

The bank has also been active in organising business matching and supporting local firms as they aim to sell their products online by working with foreign counterparts. 

Thai products online get about 1.2 million views monthly, he added.