Uttama prioritises e-payment growth

Uttama prioritises e-payment growth

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana plans to expand the national e-payment system, lifting the competitive edge of small and medium-sized firms and strengthening the grassroots economy this year. (Bangkok Post photo)
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana plans to expand the national e-payment system, lifting the competitive edge of small and medium-sized firms and strengthening the grassroots economy this year. (Bangkok Post photo)

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana is focused on expanding the national e-payment system, lifting the competitive edge of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and strengthening the grassroots economy in 2020.

Expanding the national e-payment system is meant to make life more convenient for people and sharpen small operators' competitive edge, he said.

The Finance Ministry is set to use data from the Taste-Shop-Spend scheme to provide support for best-selling products, Mr Uttama said.

The Finance, Commerce and Industry ministries plan to collaborate on setting up product distribution centres to facilitate logistics convenience for small-business operators, he said.

The Finance Ministry will take part in pushing the national strategy to sustain economic growth and build up investors' confidence, though external factors remain challenging, Mr Uttama said.

The ministry is in the process of adopting big data and blockchain technology to pool information from the Revenue and Customs departments.

Regarding a planned upgrade of micro-SMEs, Mr Uttama said the government plans to set up a new equity exchange whose rules and regulations will be more lenient than those of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), enabling easier access to funding sources.

Only institutional investors will be allowed to invest in the new exchange because they are the ones capable of taking risks, he said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently finalised details of the new exchange related to trading model, listing criteria and investor type.

The new exchange will likely merge with Live, the SET's blockchain-integrated electronic crowdfunding platform launched last year for SMEs and startups to raise funds.

The new equity exchange will be organised and run by the SET.

SMEs should be provided end-to-end support, Mr Uttama said, and the Finance Ministry could use specialised financial institutions to offer assistance to SMEs in targeted industries such as auto parts.

For rural people, the Finance Ministry will join forces with other networks to help them at the community level, as providing assistance at the individual level remains difficult.

Such aid will be offered through the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Government Savings Bank, Krungthai Bank and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank.


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