Fish retail shops in Narathiwat province (Photo: AFP)
   
 Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai government has announced a plan of supporting small retailers to boost the domestic economy.

The Ministry of Commerce estimates some 400,000 traditional, retail businesses across the country need a helping hand to change the current retail situation that are being dominated by big distributors.  

The new project will connect retail and wholesale communities, said Bangjongjitt Angsusingh, Director–General of the Ministry of Commerce’s Business Development Department.

Under the project, enterprises will be provided with training on business management, storage and stock management as well as shop image development, the director added.

She also noted that the department has helped about 20,081 local retail and wholesale firms, and about 5,454 retailers are expected to get aid this year to become growth engines for local economy.

In addition, the department has provided consultancy and skills for some shops around wholesale establishments in provinces. So far, the number of standard stores has reached 114 in 65 provinces. It aims to train 35 more shops to ensure the scheme will cover all 77 provinces.

It also came up with an idea to train local wholesalers in skill development when they have their own trading network. Once these businesses get stronger, they would be able to help develop small retailers and boost local economy.

As part of the government’s effort to reduce living cost, the department has encouraged producers to scale down prices of some products under the “Prache Rath: Low Cost of Living” Project.

Accordingly, large manufacturers have agreed to reduce 15 – 20 percent for 18 essential products such as shampoo, soap, canned fish and instant noodles. The discounted goods will be sold to the local community at traditional retail and wholesale shops from April. –VNA