BANGKOK– As running a business will be different from what it was before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Center of Thailand (SACICT) plans to restructure and modernize its handicraft organization, while helping communities adapt to the digital economy and use e-commerce to expand their markets.
The SACICT Director, Pornphon Akathaporn, said that Thailand’s handicraft exports contracted 66.79 percent year-on-year, totaling 63.84 billion baht, in the first quarter of this year, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current situation has made consumers more cautious about their spending. The center has assisted more than 200 handicraft producers in different communities by using available raw materials to produce face masks. Each household is now able to generate a monthly income of 8,000 to 12,000 baht.
The SACICT Director said the COVID-19 situation can potentially expand the country’s handicraft business, as more people are staying home and they have shown interest in handicraft work. Thai handicraft products will still be exported to other countries, particularly those in Europe. However, handicraft producers will have to rely more on the domestic market to help compensate for a decline in exports. Their products will be sold on e-commerce platforms, while entrepreneurs will become more competitive and create Smart Craft SMEs .(NNT)