Amazon, state agency launch scheme

Amazon, state agency launch scheme

Mr Ekachat says cross-border e-commerce is an essential business driver for the Thai economy.
Mr Ekachat says cross-border e-commerce is an essential business driver for the Thai economy.

Amazon Global Selling and the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) plan to elevate their collaboration to further promote Thai brands through global e-commerce, aiming to push the sector's value to 664 billion baht by 2027.

The duo launched the Thailand Business Accelerator programme to boost cross-border e-commerce capabilities in the country.

The initiative includes launching events to raise awareness of cross-border e-commerce among brand owners and starting an incubation programme to help more than 100 brand owners start a cross-border e-commerce business with Amazon.

"Cross-border e-commerce represents a new form of exports and can help brand owners access customers around the world directly, developing their business. Thailand still has opportunity for growth," said Jamie Brennan, head of Amazon Global Selling in Thailand.

Amazon Global Selling is the cross-border e-commerce service arm of US tech giant Amazon.

Ms Brennan cited AlphaBeta Research in 2022 that estimated Thailand's cross-border e-commerce value exceeded 135 billion baht and is expected to reach 664 billion in 2027.

From January to September 2022, 5.5 million products were sold in Thailand to global buyers via the Amazon Global Selling platform.

A company survey of 300 domestic e-commerce sellers and traditional exporters found 87% believe e-commerce will be key to their ability to export.

For the in-depth incubation training programme, the two organisations expect around 100 brand owners, mainly from Bangkok and Chiang Mai in the grocery, jewellery and apparel categories, to join the scheme.

The course covers the end-to-end journey of an Amazon seller, including account registration, product preparation, compliance, listing, shipping and advertising.

The partnership is supported by public and private sector partners including the Office of Commercial Affairs in Chiang Mai.

Pictured from left are Ms Brennan, Mr Ekachat and Mr Nissana.

Amidst a challenging global economic environment, Ms Brennan sees growth opportunities for Thai sellers. Three categories have high demand: groceries, such as instant food and cooking ingredients; jewellery; and fashion design.

She said the most important ingredient for success as an online exporter is a "motivation to do" because the sector takes time and effort. Exporters need to have an enticing product for the first step and the right partners with the right mindset to handle volatility, said Ms Brennan.

"Cross-border e-commerce is essential to drive Thailand's economy. By addressing the needs of Thai small businesses when selling internationally, we hope to help them increase revenue and growth, achieving success on a global scale," said Ekachat Seetavorarat, deputy director-general of DITP.

Exports to the US tallied 47.5 billion baht last year, accounting for 16% of total exports and up 13% year-on-year. In 2023, the department expects shipments to the US to grow 6%.

The US is the second largest e-commerce market worth more than $1 billion and is likely to grow 70% in two years, according to DITP. By 2026, Thailand's cross-border e-commerce is expected to reach 400 billion baht.

Nissana Thaveepanit, director of the Office of the Digital Commerce Market under DITP, said the department's Topthai business-to-consumer initiative has promoted Thai brands on seven leading online platforms in nine countries, comprising US's Amazon, China's T-Mall, India's Bigbasket, Cambodia's, Indonesia's Blibli, Taiwan's PCHome, and Shopee in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The Topthai sales of products on these platforms tallied 200 million baht in 2022 and are expected to grow 5-10% this year, said Mr Nissana.

Topthai set up its storefront on Amazon in August 2020 in the food and health and beauty categories, which has high growth potential in the US. The storefront has 10 Thai exporters and 11 brands with sales worth 48 million baht last year.

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