Flood-affected SME operators resume production: Industry Ministry

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All of Thailand registered Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) forced to suspend production by last year’s flood have resumed operation, according to Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti.

All 5,664 business operators, including about 3,000 SMEs in 34 provinces, registered to seek help from the government’s post-flood rehabilitation project. About Bt148 million was set aside to run the project from March to July.

The Department of Industrial Promotion was assigned to work with educational institutions, advising companies, and financial institutions to provide help to these flood-affected operators in the first phase including inspection and machinery repairs.

The project now is proceeding to in-depth rehabilitation to look into all business administration systems from production to marketing processes to be prepared for risk factors and more competition ahead of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

About 1,000 operators are subject to undergo these rehabilitation procedures.  So far, 40 percent have been completed and the program will be finished by this July.

The industry Ministry planned to increase the number of advisors to support more than two million SMEs and to set up centers in neighboring countries to conduct marketing studies there.

The ministry policy is to develop Thai industry at all levels, particularly SMEs. In the short term, Thai SMEs are facing risks such as higher production costs as labor, transportation, raw materials and rising energy costs. Thai operators must be well prepared to handle any obstacles to run their businesses strongly and solidly, the minister said.