UOB targets SME digital market in Thailand
Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) is launching its Smart Business Transformation Programme for SMEs in Thailand looking to kickstart their digital transformation.
The programme, run by UOB (Thai), will be in collaboration with the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP) and The FinLab.
During the three-month programme, The FinLab will help SMEs to address their business concerns with tools and knowledge. SMEs will also be matched with the right tech providers.
Interested SMEs from the food and beverage, fast-moving consumer goods, construction, logistics, retail, wholesale and travel industries are invited to apply until April 2019. They should be keen to adopt technology, have regional growth plans and an annual turnover of between SGD 1 million ($730,000) and SGD 50 million ($37 million).
Under Thailand 4.0, the Thai government aims to raise the contribution of SMEs to 50% of Thailand’s GDP by 2025, up from 36% in 2018.
With almost three million SMEs comprising 99.7% of Thai companies in 2018, UOB says the performance of SMEs is crucial to the country’s GDP growth and economic development.
In an online survey conducted by The FinLab, SMEs in Thailand displayed an interest in entering new markets and using digital marketing to grow sales, as well as expressing concerns about the costs and complexity of implementing digital solutions.
UOB’s programme attempts to help SMEs while addressing these concerns, like for example providing working capital to implement technology transformation projects.
DEPA will provide funding support to the participating SMEs to implement technology solutions and organise workshops to educate SMEs on how to apply for these funds.
The NSTDA will provide grants to participating SMEs through the Innovation Technology Assistance Programme (ITAP) for consultancy and expert services on digital transformation.
OSMEP is a policy maker for promotion of SMEs in Thailand, and will design new policies and plans to help SMEs use technology to grow their businesses.