Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra presided over the opening ceremony of OTOP Midyear 2012 at IMPACT arena, Muang Thong Thani on Monday, showing the government support for local SMEs.

According to the Premier, the government is focusing on the development of OTOP products to enable them to compete in the ASEAN market and aiming to raise the nation's product quality making it on a par with its international competitors'.

The government will make use of the operating plan of the 'Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand', a centre initiated by HM Queen Sirikit, as its paradigm, she said.

The Prime Minister also disclosed a plan to co-operate with leading department stores in order to make the products available to wider markets, as well as to urge Thai envoys to seek new markets for the OTOP products in their host countries.

Over 3,000 SME's participated in the event where a number of three- to five-star Otop products, which are popular among both foreign and Thai consumers, were available at quite reasonable prices.

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