THE Ministry of Commerce yesterday announced plans to scale up the government’s Thaitrade.com website to become the national e-commerce platform as part of plans to turn Thailand into an e-commerce hub for the region.
Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said that Thaitrade.com would expand from its status as a cross-border platform for exporters running small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become the national online business gateway with the full features of business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business-consumer (B2B2C) transactions.
Sontirat, speaking at the E-Commerce Big Bang event, said the latest feature to be offered on Thaitrade.com, Thaitrade Shop, provides an e-commerce platform for SMEs selling into the domestic market.
Thaitrade Shop also connects with business partners, including local e-marketplace and e-commerce players, as well as e-payment and e-logistic service providers.
The move is aimed at helping to strengthen local SMEs and local e-marketplace vendors as well as to increase the country’s competitiveness in the e-commerce sector.
“E-commerce is the right solution for cross-border commerce, in order to be competitive with the fast-growing giant e-commerce players. The government and business need to work together,” said Sontirat.
Thaitrade.com has partnered with global e-commerce players including Alibaba, JD.com, Amazon, eBay and Gosoko.
Under the Alibaba link, Thaitrade.com has opened the Thai Flagship Store on the company’s Tmall platform.
Thai products can be sourced for the Chinese market under this initiative.
Thaitrade.com aims to increase the number of merchants on the site from 25,000 now to 100,000 and the number of products listed from around 250,000 to 1 million stock-keeping-unit (SKUs).
Arada Fuangtong, director of the digital commerce market office under the Department of International Trade Promotion, said that according to UNCTAD, the value of worldwide e-commerce is US$25.3 trillion, with 90 per cent of transactions done as B2B.
The B2C and B2B2C channels are growing rapidly. Some 10 per cent of the whole B2C segment is cross border e-commerce, which is growing at 20 to 30 per cent per year. With these numbers, Arada said, Thai e-commerce players should adjust to the market and turn to the B2B2C and B2C channels.
“Thaitrade.com formally is a B2B e-marketplace platform helping Thai SME exporters to sell product to the global market.
Now, Thaitrade.com has also become a B2B2C platform offering small-order online retail items to 170,000 buyers worldwide,” Arada said.