JD Central signs on to help SMEs

JD Central signs on to help SMEs

JD Central Commerce, the joint venture between Chinese internet giant JD.com and Thailand's largest retail firm Central Group, has teamed up with the government and a private university to enhance the competitiveness of Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) via the online platform.

The company signed three memorandums of understanding (MoU) yesterday with the International Trade Promotion Department, the Commerce Ministry, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency and University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce to enhance Thai SMEs' competitiveness and push Thai products to enter global markets.

The cooperation covers IT solutions services for logistics and supply chain development as well as developing digital e-commerce skills among Thai university students.

Yol Phokasub, chairman of Central JD Commerce Co, said the company is hopeful the agreement will increase export volume to 100 billion baht in the next 3-5 years.

Potential products are fruit such as durian, mango, and longan, he said.

Mr Yol said the company is spending 2-3 billion baht to construct five warehouses. Three warehouses in Greater Bangkok have been built, and one each at Surat Thani and Chiang Mai are under construction, expected to be completed later this year.

The company has teamed up with three logistic allies -- DHL, Thailand Post, and Kerry Express Thailand to handle deliveries nationwide.

The company, which opened for service three months ago, is capable of completing goods delivery to customers in Greater Bangkok within one day if they place purchase orders by 11am.

If the purchase is made after 11am, the delivery will reach customers the day after.

The company will also sell more fresh goods and grocery products in the future, he said.

Christine Wong, vice-president of International Government Affairs of JD.com, said strategic cooperation between JD Central, JD.com and the Commerce Ministry's International Trade Promotion Department will facilitate and promote cross-border e-trade and enhance Thai SMEs' competitiveness in global markets.

Thai SMEs will be empowered to gain greater access to the Chinese market through JD's online platform, which specialises in cross-border e-commerce. Cooperation between Thaitrade.com and JD.com will provide business matching for sellers and buyers.

Banjongjitt Angsusingh, director-general of the department, said its strategy is to ensure Thailand's industry image as a quality producer and exporter.

The MoU supports collaboration on digital technology and logistics solution development in automation and robotics.

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