“Supporting Thailand SMEs’ Digitalization Amid COVID-19”

Overview

Location: Thailand

Date: August 31, 2021

Participants: 160 (Zoom), 221 (Facebook Live views as of September 6)

Partner: Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP) Thailand

Overview: More than 150 owners and executives of Thailand Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participated in the webinar titled, “Supporting Thailand SMEs’ Digitalization Amid COVID-19” on August 31, 2021. The webinar was a collaborative event between the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP) Thailand which aimed to empower Thai SMEs to be more digitally competitive in the COVID-19 crisis. The webinar was hosted by Ms. Saravadee Homsub, Country Manager –Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, US-ABC, and moderated by Dr. Suthikorn Kingkaew, Advisor to KBU Research Institute. Amb. Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of US-ABC, began the webinar by delivered his welcoming remarks. And the webinar was officially opened by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Veerapong Malai, Director General of OSMEP. It was followed by a remark from Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), who joined the remark session. The webinar was divided into two-panel sessions. The first panel session focused on measures by the Thai government to support SMEs and promote several programs in ASEAN for Thai SMEs. The first panelist, Dr. Wimonkan Kosumas, Deputy Director-General of OSMEP, shared the Thai Government’s policy to assist SMEs in recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. It was followed by a session from Mr. Wittawat Lamsam, Director of International Cooperation Department of OSMEP, who presented ASEAN Access information for SMEs. Lastly, Ms. Nugraheni Utami, Manager – SME Initiatives of US-ABC, shared the ASEAN SME Academy with the audience. In the second panel session, Facebook had a fireside chat between Ms. Sudaporn Woraporn, Director of Tourism Marketing Learning Division of TAT and Ms. Ing Sirikulbordee, Public Policy Manager, Facebook Thailand. They discussed TAT and Facebook collaboration in supporting the local businesses on the economic recovery of the tourism sector. It was followed by a training session from Ms. Amp Vajrabhaya, Client Partner, Facebook Thailand who presented how to maximize online business for SMEs and building a strong digital presence. Next, in the Visa session, Ms, Sirirat Thiengtham, Senior Director of Merchant, Sales and Acquiring, Visa Thailand, shared digital payments can be a solution and help SMEs to transform their business online. Finally, Dr. Suthikorn Kingkaew ended the webinar session by introducing the latest initiative called The Innovator Platform which supports small businesses to be more creative and competitive to build their business.

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