The value of Thailand’s e-commerce industry is expected to grow by 8.5 per cent in 2018 and reach THB3.06 trillion (US$9.166 billion) by the end of the year, according to the Bangkok Post.

If trends from last year persist, about half of the value will be driven by B2B companies with B2C and B2G (business-to-government) combining for the other half.

Retail, accommodation and manufacturing were the key contributors to the growth.

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In recent months, the Thailand e-commerce has been engaged in a debate about the role of foreign companies as companies like Alibaba invest huge sums of money in the country.

Alibaba is investing US$320 million to build a digital hub in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor project, a core development project for the government.

The concern is well-funded companies like Alibaba will stifle competition from local companies.

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However, the Electronic Transactions Development Agency, who commissioned the e-commerce report, wants to leverage Alibaba’s TMall to provide an avenue for local Thai companies to sell across borders.

Chief executive Surangkana Wayuparb told the Bangkok Post that, “Promoting the Thai e-commerce market globally, especially in China, the US and Europe is a challenging task,” but the goal is to have 15 Thailand companies in the TOP100 on TMall.

Last year, e-commerce was worth THB2.81 trillion (US$8.4 billion).

Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash