Joint panel supports updated plan to drive revenue growth
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Joint panel supports updated plan to drive revenue growth

The government and private sector agreed yesterday to move forward with the national e-commerce development plan, aiming to increase domestic e-commerce revenue to more than 7.1 trillion baht.

According to Sansern Samalapa, vice-minister of commerce, who chaired the joint meeting between the e-commerce committee and representatives from the private sector, the meeting approved the national e-commerce development action plan phase II, which covers 2023-27. Phase I spanned 2021-22.

Under the first phase, the government aimed to raise e-commerce revenue to 5.7 trillion baht in 2022 while increasing the e-commerce revenue of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by at least 20% a year.

The plan also focused on linking e-commerce information between the government and the private sector, as well as increasing the efficiency of the country's big data analysis.

The scheme seeks registrations of e-commerce operators via the Department of Business Development to reach at least 10,000 a year.

The first phase also wanted to promote integration among 20 state agencies, eight ministries and the private sector.

According to the Thai E-Commerce Association's data, the value of the e-commerce market in Thailand was 770 billion baht in 2022, up 8% year-on-year. It is expected to reach 870 billion baht this year.

The value is forecast to surge to 1.12 trillion baht in 2025.

The association said the growth rates for 2022 and 2023 are much lower than in 2020 and 2021, when they tallied 140% and 75%, respectively.

The slower growth was attributed to rising inflation hindering consumer spending, while people are now spending more time outside.

According to Mr Sansern, the second phase of the action plan focuses on developing manpower, citizens and digital entrepreneurs (competency building); upgrading the environment and factors contributing to the development of e-commerce (ecosystem and enabling factors); enhancing confidence in transactions (trust and security); and developing online platforms and promoting online trade both domestically and across borders.

"E-commerce plays a greater role in our lives, especially after the pandemic, which caused more people to rely on online shopping, resulting in a surge in e-commerce business," he said.

Mr Sansern predicted robust growth for the country's e-commerce industry this year.

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