Developing OTOP Brands to Bring out the Uniqueness of Thai Community Products
In a video conference with provincial governors, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called on each province to bring out the uniqueness of its products in order to develop OTOP brands.
The Prime Minister said that the Government would seek more channels to distribute OTOP products to various shopping centers and through multi-level marketing. She suggested that community products should link to tourism markets in all provinces, so that they would have good potential for becoming better known in international markets.
The Prime Minister stated that OTOP products should be divided into various groups, or segmentations, so that efficient strategies could be worked out to develop them. For example, OTOP producers should be provided with greater access to financial sources, and they should also be given assistance in terms of designing.
The public and private sectors recently launched a new project, “OTOP Plus,” to upgrade the standards of OTOP products, add value to them, and promote them in foreign countries, especially in the ASEAN region.
Under the project, at least 200 OTOP products will be selected by the Ministry of Interior and provincial governors across the country. Educational institutions will help improve the quality of these products by combining local wisdom with innovation, and by using modern technology.
Various activities will also be introduced to provide greater opportunities for OTOP entrepreneurs to have access to more market channels, both domestically and internationally. Online marketing will be launched, as well, to publicize and expand the distribution of OTOP goods.
The Government wants local residents to continue to develop OTOP products to generate sustainable income for various communities. Apart from generating employment, the OTOP program will also encourage the people to produce goods using their homegrown skills and expertise. More one-stop service centers for OTOP goods will be set up to boost the sales of Thai community products more extensively.
OTOP products have good potential for expansion in the ASEAN market, which will become a single community in 2015. The Thai government believed that if Thailand could expand the OTOP market to ASEAN countries, OTOP goods would be in the homes of 600 million people in ASEAN, instead of more than 60 million in Thailand.
The OTOP program was launched in 2001 as a self-help mechanism for each and every community, with emphasis on rural areas, to draw upon local knowledge and ingenuity. It is now receiving a major boost to enhance the competitiveness of Thai community products.