Osmep wants to end SME agencies' waste

Osmep wants to end SME agencies' waste

New law to centralise aid, budget allocation

Patchara Samalapa, executive vice-president of Kasikornbank, speaks at SME Matching Day 2016, held by the bank and ‘Post Today’  newspaper with the support of several organisations including Osmep. Tawatchai Kemgumnerd
Patchara Samalapa, executive vice-president of Kasikornbank, speaks at SME Matching Day 2016, held by the bank and ‘Post Today’ newspaper with the support of several organisations including Osmep. Tawatchai Kemgumnerd

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (Osmep) is pushing for a new law to centralise SME-related agencies and consolidate budget allocation for programmes that support SMEs.

The new law, expected to be enacted this year, will eliminate the redundancy of having several government agencies supporting SMEs, said Osmep chairwoman Salinee Wangtal.

"Right now there are many agencies working on supporting Thai SMEs, and we found that some of their jobs are overlapping," she said.

About 30 agencies provide support to SMEs, including bodies under the Commerce Ministry, Industry Ministry, Science and Technology Ministry, Osmep and universities.

As a result, Osmep will play a leading role in all attempts to support SMEs and to centralise budget allocation under the single command of Osmep.

After the annual allocation, the budget will eventually be disbursed by each agency to support SMEs as usual.

"Using a consolidated budget will help fix this problem by assigning each agency a specific type of activity," Mrs Salinee said.

Under the consolidated budget, each agency will operate in the field matching its expertise.

For instance, the Industry Ministry will help commercialise SME products, while the Commerce Ministry will help SMEs to access markets.

Mrs Salinee said this approach would help the office conduct policies to support SMEs more efficiently and consistently in the long term.

She said this approach had already been adopted this year by the cabinet's order but including it in a law would establish the practice permanently.

Mrs Salinee said the key issue that Osmep must tackle is to upgrade the standard of Thai products to be widely accepted so that they can access a wider range of markets.

"Some local stores accept local standards, but in modern trade the Food and Drug Administration's standard is also required," Mrs Salinee said.

Many small enterprises, such as those included in the One Tambon One Product scheme, are still unable to attain that standard, she said.

As a result, Osmep will try to work with the Food and Drug Administration to help these SMEs to receive the standard as soon as possible.

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