FTI Urges Thai Government Support for SMEs

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Support for SMEs

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is calling upon the government to bolster its backing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) engaged in herbal development and production. This initiative aims to enhance their global competitiveness and elevate Thailand’s position among the top 10 herbal medicine exporters worldwide.

According to the FTI, SMEs in this sector face challenges such as insufficient funds for research and development, as well as limitations in enhancing production and export capabilities. Sittichai Daengprasert, chairman of the FTI’s Herbal Industry Club, highlighted the arduous registration process for herb-derived medicines, which hampers SMEs’ ability to compete with larger global counterparts.

Furthermore, Sittichai emphasised the lack of marketing knowledge and overseas sales channels among most SMEs, hindering their expansion into international markets.

To address these hurdles, the FTI underscores the importance of government intervention, suggesting that authorities include herbal medicine companies in overseas trade shows to broaden their exposure and market reach.

In pursuit of Thailand’s ambition to rank among the world’s top 10 herbal medicine exporters, the FTI stresses the necessity of overcoming these obstacles. Additionally, Thailand, currently leading in herbal medicine exports within ASEAN, aims to ascend to the top three in Asia within the next five years.

Highlighting the potential of Thailand’s herbal market, the Herbal Industry Club forecasts its value to reach 100 billion baht by 2030. While Thailand ranks fourth in Asia for herbal product consumption, efforts are underway to promote local herbs like turmeric, black galangal, and fa thalai jone (andrographis paniculata) as national product champions.

Meatha Simavara, the club’s former chairman, notes the surge in popularity of these herbs amid the pandemic, as people increasingly turn to natural remedies over commercial medicines. However, competing with India and China in the turmeric and fa thalai jone markets presents significant challenges.