The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs has welcomed Alibaba Group’s interest in investment in Thailand and voiced confidence that the Thai economy is recovering steadily and should see growth of over 4 percent this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak remarked at a signing ceremony attended by government agencies and Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma, that the timing of Alibaba’s entry into Thailand is appropriate as the Kingdom’s economy is on an uptrend and the government is looking to support SMEs adopting digitization and to reform the agricultural sector.
The DPM lauded Alibaba as a strong and suitable partner for Thailand as it has shown a propensity to elevate low-income earners and its business does not focus too heavily on profit. The company’s business model rates its success on its ability to reduce poverty in China. Somkid said such goals are in line with the administration’s Thailand 4.0 agenda while reiterating his belief that the Thai economy will see growth of over 4 percent this year and that rapid changes will soon take place.
The Alibaba Executive Chairman stated Thailand’s history, tourist attractions, food and public, provide a strong foundation on which the company can build, explaining that it will be using the Internet to direct Thai SMEs towards an operational future expected to be conducted 80 percent online. The executive indicated that China is on track to become the world’s leading buyer in the next five years with annual purchasing power of over 8 trillion USD.
Mr. Ma gave his assessment that a third industrial revolution involving digital technology is approaching in Asia and that his company will use Thailand as a base for sustainable economic development. He said Alibaba plans to be a long term investor in Thailand.
Addressing accusations of unfair competition, the Alibaba chief explained his company always seeks a “Win-Win” outcome in the countries where it does business, pointing out that in Thailand it sees up to three winners; consumers, partners and business operators. He confirmed the company’s intent is to elevate Thai SMEs.
Minister of Commerce Sonthirat Sonthijirawong explained that the government will work with Alibaba to develop human resources in the digital realm and support E-Commerce through the Department of Industrial Promotion, Department of International Trade Promotion and the Alibaba Business School. Thai rice and durian are slated to become major items for sale at Alibaba’s flagship stores to kick start the E-Commerce evolution of Thai products and businesses.
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Reporter : Itiporn Lakarnchua Rewriter : Tarin Angskul National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th