The Japanese Chamber of Commerce has called on both the Thai and the Japanese governments to resolve the lack of financial liquidity for Japanese SMEs in Thailand.
The JCC yesterday submitted a three-point proposal to Japanese Ambassador Kyoji Komachi, who will forward it to three economic ministers in his country. This is only the first time since 1977 that Japanese firms in Thailand have asked for a revision of the Kingdom’s Foreign Business Act. JCC president Yo Jitsukata said it the proposal was aimed at both governments and had three points. First, Japan should grant as much support to Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises in Thailand as it does to those in Japan.
Second, Thailand should improve its loan-collateral system, in order to allow SMEs greater access to loans.
Third, both governments should discuss measures for helping Japanese SMEs in Thailand that have no parent companies in Japan.
Jitsukata said there were about 7,000 Japanese firms in Thailand employing 500,000 local workers. Of those companies, most are SMEs, mainly in the auto-parts and electronic-parts industries.
“Developing the loan-collateral system is very important. The Thai government should increase the proportion of the Small Business Credit Guarantee Corp (SBCG), in order to help those who cannot access loans because of a lack of collateral,” he said.
Only 0.44 percent of SMEs in Thailand use the SBCG, while 40 percent in Japan access its equivalent there.
“Fewer and fewer SMEs can access loans, because banks have become stricter in granting loans to them during the economic crisis,” Jitsukata said.
“We realise it is important to maintain the economic partnership between Thailand and Japan. We consider this an urgent issue,” said Masato Otaka, the economic-affairs minister at the embassy.
He said the embassy was considering meeting with the finance and industry ministers and the Board of Investment to seek a long-term solution.
“We think the Thai government has yet to provide enough measures to help SMEs. It is very important to give priority to SMEs, which are the majority of companies,” Otaka said.