Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce has approved budget of 67.5 million THB (over 2.1 million USD) to help more than 500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cope with export difficulties this year.

Exported products supported by the project include jewellery, food, toys, farming equipment, gifts and souvenirs, handicrafts, household utensil, herbal medicine, cosmetics, garments, air conditioners and medical equipment.

The ministry’s International Trade Promotion Department will also help the enterprises penetrate markets in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Last month, the Thai Government implemented a project to support the country’s SMEs in their path of joining the ASEAN Economic Community.

The enterprises were also assisted to improve their competitiveness in world markets through their connections and relations with foreign partners.

In the first six months of this year, Thai SMEs’ export value reached almost 906 billion THB (about 30 billion USD), mainly China, Japan, US, Indonesia and Hong Kong (China).

Their key exports were jewellery , plastic products, rubber, and industrial machines.

In another move, Thailand and Laos recently agreed to raise two-way trade from 145 billion THB (4.84 billion USD) to 250 billion THB (8.3 billion USD) by 2015.

Accordingly, Thailand will encourage its investors to set up business facilities in Laos in order to develop the country into a goods producer for exports to third countries.-VNA