On May 9, 2013, Mr. Suwanchai Lohawatanakul, Director of Ministry of Industry’s Institute for Small and Medium Enterprises Development, met with Mr. Sanga Tanasanguanwong, Secretary to the Minister of Labour, to request for assistance on the Labor Productivity Improvement for SMEs project at Ministry of Labour’s conference room of Minister of Labour. The project is aimed at relieving impacts of economic uncertainty.
Mr. Sanga said he met with Mr. Suwanchai to discuss about cooperation between Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Industry on the Labor Productivity Improvement for SMEs project aimed at relieving impacts of economic uncertainty.
Mr. Sanga said he has discussed with representatives from concerned department and agencies about ways to improve productivity of SMEs’ executives and said the ministry is ready to give cooperation on the project.
He said the ministry will seek the budget needed for the project from Department of Skill Development and use existing projects from relevant agencies to help improve productivity of SMEs’ executives.
Mr. Sanga said he has asked Ministry of Industry to request the budget from the government to support the project so it can play part in solving the national problem.
He also urged SME operators to work together in their marketing development to help solve the problem and said a survey should be conducted to obtain the number of every SMEs in Thailand.
Meanwhile, Mr. Suwanchai said SMEs hires about 15 million workers, accounting for accounts for 78 percent of employment. Its value also accounts for 43 percent of Thailand’s GDP while its businesses account for 30 percent of the country’s export. SMEs are, therefore, important mechanism of the Thai economy, which is severely affected by an increase of production cost caused by the global economic uncertainty, foreign exchange rates and the 300 baht daily minimum wage policy.
He said if the government does not provide urgent helps to SMEs, the country’s society and economy will be affected. Cheap products from other countries might flow into Thailand, which will make Thai SMEs unable to compete in the market.
Mr. Suwanchai said he proposed the Labor Productivity Improvement for SMEs project to improve the productivity of SME executives to help relieve impacts of the economic uncertainty.
He said the project focuses on enhancing capability of SME operators until they are able to avoid business set-back or failure due to internal problems and have lavage power to compete and face outside challenges.
“The project has objectives to enhance risk-management skills of SME operators amid impacts of the economic uncertainty and unstable foreign exchange rates and to help SME operators to be able to improve their labour productivity, reduce cost and increase outputs effectively. It targets Thai high and medium level SME executives in manufacturing, service and trading sectors,” said Mr. Suwanchai.