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Thai PM: MSMEs to fuel economic growth

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Prime Minister of Thailand Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday shared the role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in promoting inclusive growth in Thailand during the first Prosperity for All Summit at the City of Dreams in Parañaque City.

Organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), chaired by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. Concepcion III, the event highlighted the best practices of MSMEs in the region.

“It is a great honor to be invited by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, a very prominent organization of the ASEAN Community, to share my views on the promotion of micro, small, and medium enterprises,” Thai PM Prayut said in his closing keynote.

“Under the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, MSMEs are a major driver of the ASEAN economy as they constitute more than 95 percent of enterprises within each member country.”

The ASEAN has directed its focus on micro enterprises as these comprise its economic make-up.

“If ASEAN desires to pursue the goal of an inclusive economy, it must place the development of these enterprises as a priority,” the Prime Minister underscored, adding that the Thai government recognizes the crucial role MSMEs play in both economic and social dimensions.

Prayut cited as an example Thailand’s “Pracharat” (Public-Private Partnership Fund), which was established to develop and assist MSME owners. The “Pracharat” aims to provide credit to MSMEs and foster new startups throughout Thailand’s economic provincial clusters and is targeting new graduates to start businesses in their hometowns.

Thailand has approximately 5 million MSMEs that have generated more than 10 million jobs and contributed to more than 42 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). About 80 percent of Thailand’s MSMEs are involved in food, agriculture, service, and retail sales businesses.

The Prosperity for All Summit, with the theme, “Partnering for Change, Creating Prosperity for All”, is one of the related ASEAN meetings this Summit Week that will culminate on the 30th ASEAN Summit on April 29.