Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand) has collaborated with Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR) and such affiliated network partners from the public and private sectors as the Federation of Thai Industries (F.T.I.), Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP), Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Department of Medical Sciences (DMSc) of Ministry of Public Health, and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in launching the “Global Business Matching 2020: Open the World of Trade, Match Business, Penetrate Export Markets” program at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel on August 7, 2020. Under the program, online business matching will be driven for Thai SME exporters in the agricultural sector throughout the business chain from upstream and midstream to downstream businesses aiming to start up or expand export to CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) and elsewhere in ASEAN where there is still high purchasing power and demand for Thai goods amid COVID-19 business disruption with which consumers and business sectors alike have to cope. This leads to the creation of jobs and valued-added agricultural products of Thailand that help drive the export growth and national development of Thailand and ASEAN countries.
Mr. Supant Mongkolsuthree, Chairman of F.T.I. and EXIM Thailand, said that this program had been initiated with the common goal of uplifting Thai agricultural sector. This sector is the country’s key economic driver worth more than 1.2 trillion baht, representing 10% of the GDP and contributing to social and economic growth with labor employment of 30% of the country’s labor force for more than 6.4 million households and over 40% of the areas nationwide. EXIM Thailand has collaborated with its alliances in business matching activities as an “extension” from those duly carried out since 2019 to “incubate” SMEs in the farm sector through knowledge provision for enhancement of their capabilities so that they can produce and export farm-related products and “upgrade” their products by applying science, technologies and innovations in the production process to add value to the products to meet international standards and respond to demand of today consumers, and that they are empowered to better compete and expand their markets in the region to a greater extent.
Under this program, EXIM Thailand, BAAC and TISTR “incubate, upgrade and extend” Thai agricultural sector with a view to expanding export and boosting competitiveness in the global trade markets, leveraging on each institution’s expertise. BAAC develops farmers, community enterprises, agricultural cooperatives and SMEs so that their farm products are marketable and salable with focus on enhancing efficiency of farm product value chain in collaboration with such alliance as TISTR. TISTR supports and promotes agricultural SMEs by applying know-how derived from scientific research, technology and innovation to the development of farm product and production process standards toward international standards. EXIM Thailand provides supports in three areas, i.e. knowledge base, credit and international trade insurance facilities, and business networking. Meanwhile, affiliated network partners support holding of activities to uplift agricultural SMEs’ capabilities and turn them into exporters who can deliver value-added goods to buyers abroad, particularly those in CLMV and others across ASEAN. The success of these endeavors is expected based on the integrated business networking from producers to exporters and buyers overseas. The achievement of this program in 2019 was reflected in the successful business matching of Thai agricultural SME exporters with foreign buyers recording export value of more than 500 million baht. The program thus represents comprehensive cooperation between the public and private sectors to build new exporters in conjunction with promotion of Thai farm sector toward sustainable growth, and drive Thai and ASEAN economic and social growth as well as environmental strength on a balanced and sustainable basis.