The Community Development Department is organizing the OTOP Midyear 2013 Fair from 28 May to 2 June 2013, when community products from all over Thailand are put on show and on sale.
According to the Director-General of the Community Development Department, Mr. Kwanchai Wongnitikorn, the six-day fair takes place at the Exhibition Halls 1-8, IMPACT Trade and Exhibition Center, Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi province.
OTOP, which stands for the “One Tambon, One Product” program, is a major policy of the Government to build up small enterprises in communities by encouraging the people to manufacture local products using their homegrown skills and expertise.
The OTOP Midyear 2013 Fair comprises more than 1,600 booths, with a food bazaar from the four regions of the country. Apart from an exhibition and demonstrations of OTOP making, the fair also features “OTOP Unseen,” with a display of OTOP products that have never been shown elsewhere before. OTOP products from those who have been affected from unrest in the deep South are also on sale.
Meanwhile, a survey shows that OTOP operators want the Government to help them seek more markets inside and outside the country. The survey was conducted by the National Statistical Office in order to prepare OTOP operators for the soon-to-be ASEAN Community.
Apart from marketing channels, OTOP operators also want the Government to provide them with greater access to funding sources. They also call for more counseling services in terms of modern technology, investment, and product development to international standards, as well as knowledge and information about the ASEAN Community.
Moreover, they also want to be equipped with language skills to help in business communication with foreign countries. Most of the surveyed OTOP operators are confident that they will be able to expand their products into other ASEAN markets. They also want more public relations campaigns to be carried out for the OTOP program. At the same time, the public should be urged to use more OTOP products.
The ASEAN Community, which will become a market of 600 million people, will be in place in 2015. OTOP operators will have greater opportunities, and they will face greater challenges, as well.
SMEs and OTOP have been cited as major factors in the country’s economic drive, and their combined value is 3.9 trillion baht, accounting for 37 percent of GDP. They employ almost 11 million people and their exports come to 2.2 trillion baht, representing about 30 percent of Thailand’s total export value.