Thaitrade to link sellers to global channels

Thaitrade to link sellers to global channels

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong open the 'E-commerce Big Bang' seminar.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong open the 'E-commerce Big Bang' seminar.

Thaitrade.com, Thailand's planned national e-marketplace, expects to increase trade volume to 10 billion baht next year by linking exporters to global e-markets.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said Thursday in his speech at a seminar titled "E-commerce Big Bang" that the country's economy needs more innovation to add value to products and increase entrepreneurship in all supply chains, then build channels to sell products.

E-commerce is an important tool for competing in the business world, and the government has made the segment a top priority in the fiscal 2019 budget with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of local operators.

The digital economy has changed the business model for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), giving them more opportunities to sell their products on an e-commerce platform.

The government has transformed Thaitrade.com into the national e-marketplace platform to give micro SMEs and farmers access to the B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) segments of domestic and export markets.

Thaitrade.com will serve the country's big data needs and connect with international e-commerce and domestic platforms.

"The government has at least another eight months of administrating the country, so the Commerce Ministry needs to work towards future development," Mr Somkid said. "Building Thaitrade.com's brand awareness and trustworthiness will increase trade volume in the global market, while payment and logistics are important factors."

Moreover, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Commerce Ministry must seek high-quality and varied products to promote on Thaitrade.com.

Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said Thaitrade.com Thursday launched a B2C channel for domestic markets by collecting quality goods from micro SMEs to sell via the channel.

The ministry also welcomes other international and domestic platforms such as JD.com in China and GoSoko in Africa to connect to Thaitrade.com after already opening a Thai flagship store with Alibaba.

The ministry aims to increase Thaitrade.com's trade volume to 10 billion baht next year from 5 billion baht at present.

The Commerce Ministry set up Thaitrade.com seven years ago. The site now features more than 200,000 products and has had 2.15 million foreign visitors.

In 2016, the ministry launched Thaitrade.com Sook, a B2C extension of Thaitrade.com.

Some 25,000 entrepreneurs use Thaitrade.com.

The ministry has set its sights on persuading 100,000 entrepreneurs to use the national e-commerce platform to increase exports.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, global e-commerce trade volume was US$25.3 trillion (808 trillion baht) in 2015.

Noppong Teeravorn, president of the Federation of Thai SMEs Association, said Thai SMEs had 3.01 million entrepreneurs, making up 99.7% of total entrepreneurs in the country.

A total of 600,000 entrepreneurs have registered businesses and about 100,000 are community enterprises while more than 2.3 million operate micro SMEs.

Thai SMEs have 11 million employees.

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