Dr. Rak Vorrakitpokatorn, EXIM Thailand President, said that in 2020 global trade and economy was hard hit by COVID-19 crisis with GDP contraction of 3.2%. Global trade of goods and services shrank by 9% and 15% respectively. However, e-commerce worldwide expanded by more than 20% from 3.4 trillion US dollars in 2019 to 4.2 trillion US dollars in 2020, and is expected to move up to 4.9 trillion US dollars in 2021 and 7.4 trillion US dollars in 2025. This has reflected the role of digital technology in sustaining the economy during its downturn but acting as a springboard for the economy to jump up in its upturn. At present, more than 50% of consumers tend to shop online, and more than 40% of consumers view online entertainment programs more frequently than before as they have increasingly been adapted to the use of digital technology. Digital products and services with growth prospects at present include gaming products, entertainment media on online platforms like Netflix, health technology products, etc.
EXIM Thailand President further said that Thai entrepreneurs, SMEs in particular, have to get prepared for upcoming business opportunities in the new era of global trade by first getting rid of their "fear" or "no risk-taking stance." They have to be confident in trying out the use of digital technology and services of financial institutions, such as EXIM Thailand, to benefit and strengthen their businesses, covering technology, knowledge, capital and risk management tool, which will help bring their businesses weather challenges and grasp fresh opportunities ahead with success. EXIM Thailand has made available financing facility, export credit insurance facility and digital system support, such as Thailand Export Readiness Assessment and Knowledge Management (TERAK) and Thailand e-commerce pavilion.
"SMEs are crucial to Thai economy, contributing to more than 30% of the country's GDP and creating job opportunities for more than 12 million people. In view of this, promotion of SMEs so that they can drive their businesses forward even amid the crisis and expand their businesses in the New Normal environment is among top of the agenda to draw cooperation from all sectors. This will serve as part of a mission to revive Thai economy and pave way for long-term and sustainable development of SMEs in response to the new generation consumer trends and megatrends where impacts are felt at global or large scale," added Dr. Rak.
In addition, Miss Nartnaree Rathapat, Managing Director of SME D Bank, delivered a speech on the cooperation between the two banks. The morning session featured the online seminar on the topic "Digital Turns Global Trade Around" highlighting opportunities and necessity for all parties to get ready for the attack of technological tsunami by Dr. Rak Vorrakitpokatorn, EXIM Thailand President, Mr. Thakorn Piyapan, Chief Executive Officer, Thai Group Holdings Plc., expert on digital banking and financial and investment innovation, Mr. Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, Managing Director of TARAD Dot Com Group Co., Ltd., and Miss Kornasa Pansuwan, Head of Government Partnership Relations, Lazada Co., Ltd. The afternoon program included workshop sessions Easy Post Easy Sell with T-GoodTech, Thehubthailand.biz and Alibaba.com in which entrepreneurs tried out trading their goods on online platforms.
Source: EXIM Thailand