US expert imparts key to survival of SMEs and start-ups

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Giuseppe Gramigna speaks at a seminar on loan guarantees as the key to supporting SMEs, held in Bangkok yesterday by the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation.

Giuseppe Gramigna speaks at a seminar on loan guarantees as the key to supporting SMEs, held in Bangkok yesterday by the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation.

GOOD MANAGEMENT across all main aspects of a business operation is crucial to the success of small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, especially in a highly competitive market, an American expert said yesterday.

Giuseppe Gramigna, SME expert adviser on national and multilateral entities and chief economist at the US Small Business Administration (SBA), shared his personal view with The Nation that good management encompassed a business’ financial-management system, credit guarantees, cost management and product quality.

Practising good management in these as well as other areas is the way to ensure business survival during a period of high market competition, he said. From his experience in the United States, up to 60 per cent of SMEs and start-up businesses are unable to survive high competition between the first and fifth years of their existence because they have insufficient operating capital, while their products fail to respond to the market’s needs.

However, as SMEs and start-ups are necessary to drive a country’s economic growth and job creation, government has to support the sector by developing key infrastructure, legal requirements and communications, among other things, and thus create the right network to enable them to do business.

Countries including Thailand must have a legal system that makes it easy to establish a business – as well as to withdraw from one – and must |create a network and logistics system suited to entrepreneurs wishing to conduct business, he said.

“Personally, I think the way to do business has to be easier, as it is more of a challenge for SMEs and start-ups. They also have to get a credit guarantee to support them when they need to raise funds for their business operations,” he said.

Gramigna said an SMEs law – the Small Business Act – had been in existence in the US since 1953, under which the SBA has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counselling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.

The SBA provides assistance primarily through four programme-based functions:

Access to capital (business financing). The SBA provides small businesses with an array of financing, from the smallest needs in micro-lending to substantial debt and equity investment capital (venture capital).

Entrepreneurial development (education, information, technical assistance and training). |The SBA provides free individual face-to-face and Internet counsel-ling for small businesses, and low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses in more than 1,800 locations.

Government contracting (federal procurement). In keeping with the mandate of the Small Business Act, the SBA’s Office of Government Contracting sets goals with other federal departments and agencies to reach the statutory goal of 23 per cent in prime contract dollars to |small businesses. The office also |provides small businesses with |subcontracting procurement |opportunities, outreach programmes and training.

Advocacy (voice for small business). Created in 1978, this office reviews |congressional legislation and testifies on behalf of small business. |It also assesses the impact of the |regulatory burden on behalf of small businesses.

State bank packages for SMEs, individuals

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


STATE-OWNED banks have launched financial packages with both soft loans and mortgages to support small and medium-sized enterprises and homebuyers.

The Government Savings Bank has arranged Bt30 billion in soft loans through 18 financial institutions for SMEs to replace machinery and improve production efficiency.

Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, president of GSB, said yesterday that this seven-year loan programme with a no-financing condition was expected to assist about 2,000 SMEs.

It carries an interest rate of 4 per cent.

Third phase

“This is the third phase of soft loans for SMEs. The previous ones helped more than 30,000 SMEs with combined soft loans of Bt150 billion,” he said.

The Islamic Bank of Thailand also offers soft loans worth Bt30 billion for SMEs that plan to change their machinery and improve production efficiency.

Government Housing Bank has set a Bt65-billion credit line for its four new loan products as a means to have all customer groups gain better access to residential loans.

Chatchai Sirilai, president of GH Bank, said it had allocated Bt5 billion of the credit line to its “2016 GH Bank Housing Loan Campaign” with the maximum of Bt2 million each.

The three other products are Bt30 billion in loans for government officials and those welfare groups with no deposits, Bt20 million in loans for retail customers and Bt10 billion in loans for customers in the fast-track/regional fast-track project and post-finance project.

Dept links SMEs with foreign trade websites

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


TO ENCOURAGE small and medium-sized enterprises to trade in the international arena, the Commerce Ministry has developed its website to link with international trading websites such as Amazon and Alibaba.

Malee Choklumlerd, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said her agency had focused on promoting online trading as it foresaw wider trade opportunities in the cyber world.

She said the department would talk with Amazon and Alibaba about creating links to get international buyers interested in purchasing goods from Thai traders.


In addition, the department will kick off a project called “Small Order OK” (SOOK) to encourage small-goods companies to trade online, including internationally.

Under the project, SMEs can advertise their products |via, with buyers able to purchase goods through an e-payment system. The website will also link |with Amazon and Alibaba, while cooperating with DHL Express for shipping goods worldwide.

Previously, www.thaitrade. com only facilitated business-to-business transactions, and buyers had to order large quantities. SOOK will help SMEs generate sales of small orders coming directly from customers, Malee explained.

Since 2013, the department has encouraged 1,684 SMEs to trade online. Over the next three years, it aims to get another 15,000 SMEs to sell their products over the Internet.

New security act ‘a boon for some SMEs’

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


TMB Bank expects small and medium-sized enterprises in manufacturing and trading will have more demand for working-capital loans after the Business Security Act comes into force on July 2.

Eighteen years in the making, the act covers, among other things, businesses; the right of claim; movable property used in a business, such as machinery and inventory; immovable property used in a business; and intellectual property.

It also covers additional forms of collateral for accessing a bank loan other than traditional fixed assets such as deposits, land and buildings.

TMB is the first Thai bank to launch a new product to take advantage of the act by offering a top-up loan of 20 per cent to the existing credit lines of SME clients, which can use receivables, inventories and right of claims as collateral.

Somkid Preechasammakul, head of TMB commercial credit and supply-chain products, said SMEs with annual sales revenue of Bt200 million to Bt1 billion were the targets of this product.

She said SMEs in manufacturing and trading should benefit the most from the act because they had inventories and receivables, while contractors in government projects were another target because they had the right of claim from their contracts with the government.

Thai Top Sport Co, an SME customer of TMB, told the bank that it saw the act as an opportunity because it had a lot of receivables and it wanted additional working capital.

Somkid said that in the first phase, TMB would allow SME customers to use their inventories, receivables and rights of claim because the bank could assess those valuables easier than intellectual property.

Intellectual property needs time to implement because it must have a third party to help evaluate the value, she said.

The Bank of Thailand will announce a regulation on how to assess new collateral using the Business Security Act and loan-loss reserves from moveable collateral, she said.

Trirong Butragaht, chief SME banking officer at TMB, said the bank hoped that the 20-per-cent credit top-up would attract Bt1 billion to Bt2 billion in new loans by the year’s end.

Trirong said the legal execution of movable collateral in cases of debt default would now be quicker than for fixed-asset collateral because the process of determining the value of assets ended at the Court of Appeal. The legal execution of immovable property ends at the Supreme Court.

In the first five months, the value of SME banking at TMB grew slightly to Bt220 billion, while income from this business rose by 8 per cent in that period after 15 per cent was targeted.

Govt to organise two major events to help SMEs

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


THE government plans to organise two major events

Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Board of Trade who is also chairman of the private-sector side of the Pracha Rath Project, said the government would invite newly established firms across the country to join the “Start-up Fair” to help them sell their products. The venue and date of the event will be announced soon.

The “Business Matching” event will take place at Bangkok Convention Centre in Lat Prao on April 26. The event aims to help small operators meet giant consumer companies, including department stores, retail shops, and traders.

“These two big events are aimed at helping local businesses sell their products,” he said. He added that Thai entrepreneurs have a chance to expand into Southeast Asia, particularly the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam) markets

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who is overseeing the Pracha Rath Project, yesterday met with the public and private sectors to follow up on the progress of the three-month campaign.

Pracha Rath projects are on track and are close to achieving their short-term targets.

The project was launched in January this year to stimulate domestic consumption and to strengthen the country’s economy as the slow global economic recovery is expected to hurt the Thai economy this year.

The government has appointed 12 co-working groups from the public and private sectors to initiate strategic plans to drive their sectors.

Somkid said Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha would chair the next meeting, after Songkran.

SCB’s Bt100m fund for SMEs and start-ups

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Siam Commercial Bank launches three projects to promote local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including a venture capital fund worth Bt100 million.

The bank signs the four memoranda of understanding to assist the government’s “Pracha Rath” policy.

“The MOUs will be adopted as part of the bank’s business plan to drive three special projects that seek to boost the competitiveness and long-term sustainable growth of SMEs and start-up businesses,” it said in a statement.

Aside from the venture capital fund, SCB will launch a marketplace where the SMEs can display products and sell them directly to consumers. The SME Expo – Total Business Solutions event is planned to provide practical answers for SMEs at every stage of their business growth.

To SCB President Yol Phokasub, the grassroots economy will lead to strong, stable, prosperous, and sustainable economic growth. Hence, SCB has therefore incorporated SMEs and start-ups into its main business plan for 2016.

2nd overseas-investment mentor project for SMEs

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


After an earlier success, the Commerce Ministry is preparing a second foreign-investment project in CLMV nations (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) and other Asean countries for Thai small and medium-sized enterprises with major Thai corporations acting as mentors.

Malee Chokelamlert, director-general of the ministry’s Department of International Trade Promotion, said the mentor companies included Charoen Pokphand Group, Saha Group, Thai Beverage, Boon Rawd Brewery, and Siam Cement Group.

With proven track records, these major Thai corporations are in a good position to share their business experiences and coach relatively inexperienced SMEs about how to tap foreign business opportunities, she said.

The Commerce Ministry expects to launch the project by May or June after selecting SMEs with strong potential in specific industries and pairing each SME with a suitable mentor – a major Thai corporation with appropriate business and foreign market experience.

The SMEs will be groomed to be ready to tap foreign business opportunities. “Foreign investments can contribute to Thailand’s revenue, which has always depended heavily on exports. Relying on trade alone today is inadequate – we need to link trade with investment and tourism, as they are all related and will eventually help expand trade,” Malee said.

The Commerce Ministry will focus on CLMV countries after the recent launch of the AseanEconomic Community, which should foster investment and trading of goods and services. However, each Asean nation has its own specific customs, culture and lifestyle, which should be considered in order for Thailand to establish the appropriate network to support trade and investment by Thai SMEs, she said. Initially, the Commerce Ministry will make a list of targeted foreign investments and business opportunities with strong growth potential in CLMV and other Asean countries, as well as China, India and others, for Thai SMEs to invest in via subcontracting, establishing representative offices, joint ventures, wholly owned investments, franchises and acquiring licences.