Thailand’s SMEs rank third regionally in digital transformation hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: Internet)
Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ranked third in digital transformation among six ASEAN member countries, behind Malaysia and Singapore, according to a study commissioned and announced by Cisco Systems on May 8.

Cisco partnered with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (Osmep) to increase the digital capabilities of 200,000 local SMEs, which partly contributed to SMEs generating 43 percent of Thailand's gross domestic product in 2019.

The Bangkok Post quoted Cisco Systems’ Managing Director Vatsun Thirapatarapong as saying that local SMEs ranked third in ASEAN and 11th out of 14 countries in Asia-Pacific in terms of digital readiness.

He said the main reason SMEs in Malaysia and Singapore do well is government support at the national level, a factor that is lacking in Thailand.

If the new government continues pursuing a digital economy policy, it should lead to consistent improvements to the overall economy, he said.

Thai respondents to the survey said cloud IT software, hardware upgrades and cyber security are the top three investment technologies for local SMEs at 13.3 percent, 12.1 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.

They said the hurdles to digital transformation are lack of customer data (17.9 percent), lack of digital skills and talent (15.7 percent) and lack of a digital mindset (14 percent). 

To help SMEs, Cisco is collaborating with Osmep to increase digital capabilities by offering online courseware, especially heat-map analytics of visitors for retail, and Internet-of-Things for manufacturing.

This year, Osmep received a budget of 1.2 billion baht (over 37.6 million USD) to support SMEs and aims to make a difference by increasing the figure to 6 billion baht in the future.

Osmep also plans to help micro-SMEs with annual revenue of less than 1.8 million baht to be powered digitally, which will raise their combined revenue to 2.3 trillion baht within five years.

Statistics showed that Thailand has nearly 3 million SMEs. -VNA