EXIM Thailand Points out COVID-19 is Cause of Global Trade Contraction in Contrast to Frog-leap Growth of Online Trade and Recommends SME Exporters Embrace Digital Technology and Make Available Knowledge Base, Capital and Risk Management Tool

Wednesday 08 September 2021 13:49
Dr. Darmp Sukontasap, Chairman of the Executive Directors, Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand), delivered an opening remark at the online seminar titled "Digital Turns Global Trade Around" held by EXIM Thailand in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME D Bank) on September 8, 2021. He said that COVID-19 pandemic has driven transformation of consumer behaviors and business operation environment from the normal course of living and business operation and increasingly connected people's lives to digital technology. Online trade both domestically and internationally has accordingly recorded a frog-leap high growth. Any Thai entrepreneurs that can adapt to the New Normal context would then be able to timely capture opportunities and contribute to Thai economy in the move toward becoming a digital economy in a more concrete manner. Therefore, it is time for both public and private sectors to accelerate integrated cooperation to promote Thai entrepreneurs, particularly SMEs, so that they would be able to use digital technology in reaching out to their customers and respond to their customers' needs more efficiently. Such borderless trade on online platforms would be carried out more confidently in a flexible way and add value to their businesses based on the availability of data, capital and risk management tool for international trade.
EXIM Thailand Points out COVID-19 is Cause of Global Trade Contraction in Contrast to Frog-leap Growth of Online Trade and Recommends SME Exporters Embrace Digital Technology and Make Available Knowledge Base, Capital and Risk Management Tool

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

EXIM Thailand Points out COVID-19 is Cause of Global Trade Contraction in Contrast to Frog-leap Growth of Online Trade and Recommends SME Exporters Embrace Digital Technology and Make Available Knowledge Base, Capital and Risk Management Tool