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CIV project on track to raise incomes

B22bn budgeted to develop 158 villages

Locally made products on sale by Chanthaburi villagers with assistance from the Creative Industry Village scheme.

The government plans to disburse a budget of 22 billion baht to promote local villages that follow the Creative Industry Village (CIV) scheme in 2018, expecting to develop 158 villages in 76 provinces.

Somchai Harnhiran, the deputy industry minister, said the government aims to beef up economic flows to villages through local tourism connected to any related industry.

"The CIV project wants to help villagers, small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] and farmers increase their household incomes under the Pracha Rat scheme," Mr Somchai said.

The Industry Ministry visited Pattawee subdistrict in Makham district of Chantaburi province to promote the new CIV villages. The government wants to promote connected fruit products in eastern Thailand via the Eastern Fruit Corridor (EFC) project.

The EFC will be the first fruit auction market in Thailand to promote and expand value-added fruit products and fruit processing.

The government aims to lend support to local farmers to increase their household income.

Nonetheless, Kobchai Sungsitthisawad, director-general of the Industry Promotion Department, said the CIV project is a collaboration of the government, the private sector and local villagers.

The government expects the CIV project to increase community income by more than 25% through tourism and local products, mainly from the agricultural sector.

In 2018, the government expects to develop 20 villages, including Pattawee in Chanthaburi, Prasae in Rayong, Ban Chiang in Udon Thani, Ban Nateen in Krabi and Koh Yo in Songkhla.

Moreover, the government has been encouraging SMEs to increase their production efficiency and expects the new measures for SMEs to stimulate the Thai economy.

Among the government's measures are providing soft loans for SMEs worth 78 billion baht in 2018 through the state-owned Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank).

The government recently launched new measures for 50,000 SMEs to reduce production costs by at least 10% a year over the next three years (2018-20).

The 800-million-baht budget for the project is expected to create 10,000 SMEs in 2018, a further 20,000 in 2019 and another 20,000 in 2020.

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