State scours the globe for

State scours the globe for

The government is looking for partnerships with renowned international e-commerce firms in the US, Europe, China, India, Africa and the Middle East via, Thailand's first official B2B (business-to-business) e-marketplace.

The aim is to export as many Thai products as possible through the online channel and raise transaction value on the national e-commerce platform by 1 billion baht to reach 5.5 billion baht this year.

According to Arada Fuangtong, director of the Digital Commerce Market Office under the International Trade Promotion Department, the linkage of with international e-commerce marketplaces will help Thai exporters expand into global and border trade markets and obtain data from consumers that can be used to produce goods to match demand.

The department yesterday introduced Smart Online SMEs Plus (S.O.S.+) via, letting Thai SMEs connect with representatives from e-marketplace providers such as in China, eBay and Amazon in the US and Europe, Gosoko in Africa, 11street in Malaysia, Flipkart and Paytm in India, in the Middle East, in Singapore and in Indonesia.

The department is in talks with Chinese online giant Alibaba on delivering agricultural and One Tambon, One Product (Otop) goods to Chinese consumers, starting with premium rice and fruits.

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

The ministry in 2016 launched Sook (small order OK), a B2C (business-to-consumer) extension of

Some 23,000 entrepreneurs now use

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

According to Ms Arada, the ministry is working under the draft national e-commerce strategy that aims to double Thailand's e-commerce value to 5 trillion baht by 2021.

The draft strategy and action plan are pending the ministry's deliberation and are scheduled to be submitted to the cabinet for approval soon.

The total value of e-commerce in Thailand is about 2.5 trillion baht, making it the highest e-commerce value in Asean with a share of roughly 27% of total e-commerce value in the bloc, according to the Commerce Ministry.

The ministry, which plays a leading role in pooling efforts from relevant agencies, sees hefty logistic costs and fixed mindsets as the most important problems for e-commerce development in Thailand.

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