SMEs get B726m boost

The government plans to spend 726.7 million baht to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) improve their products and services, productivity and overall competitiveness.

The money will be used over the coming year to fund 13 projects to help SMEs. The budget was approved on Friday by the National Board for Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion, chaired by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The projects are intended to help SMEs would play a bigger role in supporting the national economy, said Wimonkarn Kosumas, acting director-general of the Office of SME Promotion (Osmep).

The projects include one to give small businesses greater access to government procurement programmes; solutions to business obstacles; one-stop service centres; an online SME business-learning centre; promotion of SMEs with high potential; efforts to increase the value of SME products and services; and SME networking with peers in Southeast Asia.

If successful, the projects could add 50,000 new small businesses and increase SMEs' share of gross domestic product to 38% from 37%, said Miss Wimonkarn.

The support will focus on SMEs in businesses that benefit the country, use local raw materials, serve important policy aims of the government, and value the environment, society, arts and culture.

They are in construction, electronics, automotives, food and beverages, education, energy, agriculture, transport and logistics, tourism, health, herbal products, cosmetics, information and communication technology, creative fields, rubber, packaging, plastics, textiles and garments, gems and jewellery, wholesale and retail sectors.

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