An additional 25 provinces will be included in the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry's programme aimed at supporting small vendors to leverage digital tools to improve their business, says DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.
The "Transform: New-normal Market" campaign, which was launched in 2022 with 10 pilot provinces, is expected to generate 300 million baht.
The scheme is aimed at supporting vendors, hawkers, stalls and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with digital skills and knowledge that can be used to enhance their business competency, he said.
The new phase focuses on 25 more provinces to help the vendors apply digital technology to meet the needs of the modern business world, Mr Chaiwut said.
Spearheaded by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa), the first phase recorded a solid outcome, he said. It was rolled out last year when the number of online shoppers surged.
The 10 pilot provinces are Bangkok, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Pathom, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram.
The project was created to develop a competitive market model catering to the needs of today's consumers, Mr Chaiwut said.
The scheme is also meant to promote a sustainable and balanced digital economy and society, in line with the ministry's development plan, he said.
"The project has successfully revamped over 300 fresh markets," said Mr Chaiwut.
A total of 30,050 market owners, vendors, hawkers and SMEs have joined the campaign, he said.
The 25 provinces in the next phase comprise: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Nan, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Maha Sarakham, Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Saraburi, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang.
This phase should help to promote business efficiency for operators by reducing their costs, increasing their revenue, and meeting the need for modern business competency, said Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, president of Depa.
To enhance advanced digital skills and knowledge, the campaign will include five online courses and other promotional activities, such as digital technology exhibitions, business matching and the creation of a digital marketplace prototype, he said.
Mr Nuttapon said this programme is one of Depa's eight major projects this year under the concept of "Digital Infinity".
He said these eight projects, supported by the Digital Economy and Society Development Fund, are intended to boost quality of life and prepare Thailand's transition to a digital economy and society.