Determinants for Market Expansion of Thai SME Entrepreneurs as the ASEAN Economic Community is Taking Roots
Economic policies in Thailand essentially target improvements in innovativeness, technology-orientation, and the internationalization of Thai enterprises, including small and medium size firms. Thai entrepreneurs’ internationalization opportunities within the region are linked to the current government policies targeting growth and business expansions and the measures adopted in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint by the 10-member Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) to promote SMEs. This empirical study assesses the status quo of activities, aspirations, and expectations of Thai entrepreneurs as the AEC is taking roots. Findings show that it is critical how government policies are implemented and executed to empower Thai SMEs. Innovative market approaches with new products and a more technological orientation for start-ups are found to be key factors influencing Thai entrepreneurs to expand beyond their current markets and utilize the new market opportunities derived from the AEC.