Adding Value to OTOP Products and Making Them Better Known Internationally (29/06/2012)
The Government is seeking ways to add value to “One Tambon, One Product,” or OTOP, products and make them better known in the international market.

The issue was discussed by the OTOP National Committee, which also set guidelines for the development of the OTOP project, so that OTOP products will gain greater recognition in both local and international markets.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who chaired the meeting of the OTOP National Committee on 25 June 2012, cited the development of OTOP products as an important task, as it would generate more income for local communities and enhance the reputation of the country, as well.

She called for research and development for OTOP in order to develop raw materials, products of good quality, and production processes that would enable Thailand to compete effectively in the international market.

The Prime Minister stated that OTOP products should be divided into various groups, or segmentations, so that efficient strategies would 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 Prime Minister assigned the OTOP National Committee to help in the marketing of OTOP products, especially the production of community products in response to the market demand. Moreover, it was told to help introduce the brand of OTOP and expand channels for sale of more goods, such as through the website, airports, and various communication lines.

The meeting of the OTOP National Committee agreed to develop community clusters in order to enhance the competitiveness of community products in the long run. It also agreed to expand OTOP markets linked with tourism markets in ASEAN and beyond.

A major OTOP fair, OTOP Midyear 2012, will be held in August when numerous activities are scheduled for the celebrations of Her Majesty the Queen’s 80th birthday anniversary. Another major OTOP fair, OTOP City 2012, will take place in December, in celebration of His Majesty the King’s birthday anniversary. On this occasion, activities will be arranged to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the OTOP project.

The OTOP project 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 based on the self-reliance and creativity principle, which seeks to develop local products, taking into consideration the revival of local culture and traditions, thus bringing out the uniqueness of each village. The OTOP initiative has generated employment and income in the respective localities, helping communities reduce emigration in search of jobs elsewhere.

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