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Thailand: Helping SMEs to Become Creative Industries
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Thailand
Created: Sep 19, 2010

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand will receive strong support from the Government in developing themselves into creative industries.

Director-General of the Department of Industrial Promotion Arthit Wuthikaro stated that the Department was translating the Government’s Creative Thailand policy into action. The policy aims to move Thailand forward by turning it into a creative industrial center in the ASEAN region.

In order to achieve this policy, he said, the Department would apply three ways to promote innovations in various SME projects. The first way is to make use of research and development in the manufacturing of machinery and products. The second one is to create new products for use as prototypes, and the third one is to adopt local wisdom and new bodies of knowledge to add value to products.

In the 2011 fiscal year, which begins in October this year, the Department of Industrial Promotion has set a target to support 200 SMEs. Out of this number, 165 will be involved with the development of creative products.

SMEs employ more than half of the country’s labor force and generate as much as 50 percent of its total income. Realizing that SMEs are vital to the country’s economic growth, the Government constantly supports SME projects.

As for creative industries, Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot said that Thailand’s creative industries clearly have the potential to drive Thai economic growth. The country’s creative industry exports have risen to about 13 billion US dollars per year and were growing at an average rate of 5 percent per year.

The Thai government has a policy to develop Thailand into a creative economy hub in the ASEAN region and increase the share of the creative economy value from 12 percent to 20 percent of the country’s GDP by the end of 2012.

A study undertaken by the Fiscal Policy Research Institute and the Kenan Institute Asia shows that nine creative industries have contributed about 10 percent of Thailand’s economy and could grow quickly with strengthened value chains and better protection of intellectual property rights.
The nine creative industries include printing and publishing, information technology, wooden furniture, medicines, jewelry, research, movie production, movie theaters, and radio and television. Their direct contribution in 2008 was more than a trillion baht, representing 9.53 percent of Thailand’s GDP.

“Creative industries” can be defined as the cycles of creation, production, and distribution of goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as primary inputs. They comprise a set of knowledge-based activities that produce tangible goods and intangible intellectual or artistic services with creative content, economic value, and market objectives.
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