Thailand’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are strategically positioned to capitalise on the rapid surge in e-commerce activities stemming from the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, cross-border e-commerce presents a fresh avenue for Thai MSMEs to engage in global markets by harnessing the momentum of the country’s swiftly expanding digital economy.
In 2022, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce exports were valued at THB 135.4 billion (USD 4 billion) in Thailand. Our analysis suggests that if MSMEs accelerate the adoption of e-commerce to export over the upcoming five years, the revenue from e-commerce exports could escalate to THB 663.9 billion (USD 19.8 billion) by 2027. Furthermore, the proportion of e-commerce export revenue secured by MSMEs might potentially increase from 31% in 2022 to 79% in 2027.
From our survey encompassing 300 Thai MSMEs actively involved in B2C e-commerce, an overwhelming 87% believe that without e-commerce, exporting would be unattainable. MSMEs also highly value the expansive scale and global reach facilitated by international e-commerce services, which enhance their access to foreign markets.
Nevertheless, Thai MSMEs have pinpointed certain obstacles when utilising e-commerce for overseas exports, including costs and regulatory issues. While several favourable policies and initiatives are in place to foster e-commerce within the country, Thai MSMEs would like to receive further support in terms of educational resources and skill development to streamline the process of exporting through e-commerce. Additionally, resources to mitigate the high costs of cross-border logistics, coupled with greater regulatory support on digital trade, are deemed valuable by these enterprises.
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