Major push underway to promote Thailand’s OTOP merchandise

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BANGKOK, April 14 – The Commerce Ministry is embarking on an ambitious plan to upgrade Thailand’s native products through franchising and online shopping systems, a senior official said today.  

Pongpun Gearaviriyapun, director general of the Business Development Department, said the department will coordinate with the public and private sectors in selecting premium-quality products in the OTOP One Tambon One Product group nationwide to join the programme.

About 100 manufacturers of over 300 products have been registered as “OTOP Product Champions,” she said, adding that these products have high potential for marketing expansion.

The products are divided into four major categories: textiles and clothing, decorative items and souvenirs, food and beverages, and Thai herbs.

Ms Pongpun said the department was working on guidelines to assist OTOP manufacturers in creating and extending their business franchises.

She said the department has also cooperated with the Thai e-Commerce Association in finding online marketing channels for OTOP manufacturers while OTOP producers will be given training on online shopping and relevant systems on logistics, payment, sales and marketing promotion and finding suitable business partners to reach the right target groups.

Some of the leading online shopping operators in the Thai market are tarad.com, weloveshopping.com, rakbankerd.com, sabuyshop.com, KTCUshop, itruemart.com, Lazada.com, Shoponline-tescolotus.com, readyplanet.com, lnwshop.com, thaishope.com.

The Commerce Ministry will also work with the Interior Ministry and the private sector in launching “OTOP Shop Corner” – a shopping website for OTOP products – in August.

Ms Pongpun said this year’s sales value of OTOP products should reach at least Bt80-90 billion, representing a 5-10 per cent growth year-on-year.

She said the department has also encouraged OTOP manufacturers to produce top-quality products to compete with local products in neighbouring countries given the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) next year.

Most Thai entrepreneurs lack management skills and capability in finding distribution channels, she said, weaknesses needing to be improved.

She added the Foreign Trade Department will be asked to find potential overseas markets for high-quality products under the OTOP Select Project category.