Bangkok – The Ministry of Commerce is set to focus its efforts on improving the grassroots economy throughout 2018.
Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said the ministry’s 2018 resolutions are to stabilize agricultural prices, create value to farm products, increase farmers’ income, and lower consumer product prices.
Sontirat added that the ministry will install electronic data capture (EDC) machines at 20,000 more retail stores by March, increasing the accessibility of the low-income earners enrolled in the government’s cashless card scheme to “Blue Flag” products, everyday items whose prices are marked down by 15-20%.
The cashless card program was launched last year to help the poor and the low-income earners lower monthly expenses. The cards can be used to purchase consumer goods, food items, and for transportation.
In addition, the ministry has vowed to help community entrepreneurs and small businesses through technological innovation and digital technology, as well as promote e-commerce activities.
As for exports, the ministry will adopt pro-active measures and seek bilateral trade deals with markets with high purchasing power like China and India.