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close this bookNeeds and Characteristics of a Sample of Micro and Small Enterprises in Thailand - Working Paper N5 - Micro and Small Enterprise Development and Poverty Alleviation in Thailand - Project ILO/UNDP: THA/99/003 (ILO-ISEP - ILO - UNDP, 1999, 102 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contents1.0 Background
Open this folder and view contents2.0 Survey of selected Thai urban-based MSEs
Open this folder and view contents3.0 Characteristics, problems and needs of Thai MSEs
Open this folder and view contents4.0 Notes on statistical findings
View the document5.0 Recommendations
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes
View the documentBack cover


This working paper, The Needs and Characteristics of a Sample of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Thailand, prepared by Maitree Wasuntiwongse, has been produced as part of the ILO/UNDP project on Micro and Small Enterprise Development and Poverty Alleviation in Thailand (THA/99/003). A full description of this project can be found in the project document which is available on request.

This series of six working papers is the combined output from the team of national and international consultants engaged by the ILO in Thailand between March and June 1999. Preliminary findings for each of the reports was shared with a group of key informants at a workshop/consultation, held at the Royal Princess Hotel, Bangkok, in May 1999. We are indeed grateful for all comments and feedback received at that workshop. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in these reports, we regret any omission or error contained herein. These working papers are intended as a means of advancing the public debate on the small enterprise sector in Thailand, and the ILO is eager to share this information with the widest possible audience.

The term “micro and small enterprise” (or MSE) is not commonly used in Thailand, as more frequent reference is made to the designation of “small and medium enterprise”, or SME. Each of the ILO consultants has made some reference to the issue of definitions of micro, small and medium enterprises, and Paper six in the series is dedicated to this topic. Therefore, to facilitate a clear and unambiguous understanding of these working papers, we have been at pains to make distinctions between different categories of small enterprises. We believe that the issue of definitions is not simply one of semantics.

One basic premise of this project is that there is a significant number of smaller enterprises which do not fit into the conventional enterprise support programmes of the Royal Thai Government. With targeted forms of support, these enterprises could improve their productivity and competitiveness, make a greater contribution to generating wealth and alleviating poverty among the families of owners and workers alike, and create more jobs.

The ILO has been supporting micro and small enterprise development for more than three decades. In 1998, in a significant landmark event for the Organization, the ILO’s Conference - at which Thailand was represented - unanimously adopted a new Recommendation 189 on Job Creation and Small and Medium Enterprises. Because of its extreme relevance to the subject of our enquiry, we have reproduced this Recommendation as an Annex. Particular attention is drawn to sections 7, 8 and 12, dealing with collection of data, actions in times of economic difficulties, and relevance and efficiency of support, respectively. In addition, to coincide with this new Recommendation, the ILO launched a global International Small Enterprise Programme (ISEP) to provide technical assistance for member countries, including Thailand. The work carried out under this ILO/UNDP project is also part of the ILO’s ISEP programme.

Gerry Finnegan
Senior Specialist & Series Editor
July 1999