43. Thailand

In 2022, there were approximately 3.19 million SMEs in Thailand, which constituted 99.5% of all enterprises.

According to the criteria defined by the Ministry of Industry, SMEs are categorized by the number of employees and income. Meanwhile, for SME non-performing loans, the definition is based on credit line per bank not exceeding THB 500 million.

In 2022, outstanding SME loans were THB 3.387 trillion, representing 34.58% of all outstanding business loans, decreasing 4.4% in share of all outstanding loans from last year. Furthermore, SMEs are able to source funds from other financial institutions, the capital market, crowdfunding and venture capital.

Some SMEs still face problems including collateral constraints and a lack of credit history, which limit their access to bank loans. Government policies have been put into place to address these constraints.

In 2022, SMEs credit tended to contract mainly due to repayments on maturing soft loans. However, the BOT need to continue implementing debt restructuring measures with an emphasis on rolling out measures that would address debt problems of the vulnerable groups in a well targeted and sustainable manner.

For example, the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) provides credit guarantees for viable SMEs to ensure that SMEs with insufficient collateral have access to bank loans. In Thailand, credit guarantees are provided in the form of portfolio guarantees, which allow Financial Institutions (FIs) to select SMEs that are qualified as independently viable. As a result, the viability of each individual SME is determined by their own assessment and criteria.

Moreover, the Business Collateral Act B.E. 2558 (2015) simplified the process of security interest creation and expanded the types of collateral which SMEs can register and use to secure loans.

To proactively boost SMEs’ financial access, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has promoted innovative financial services and products for SMEs, such as digital personal loans and digital factoring. Furthermore, BOT has introduced infrastructure to support operational efficiency and a competitive environment in the financial sector, including a central web service to deal with double-financing for invoice finance. In addition, the government has launched and developed capacity-building programmes to enhance SMEs’ competitiveness and access to finance.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the BOT collaborated with the government in introducing financial and loan measures to support Thai people and businesses, particularly SMEs heavily affected by the crisis. These measures include loan payment holidays for all SMEs to reduce their financial burden and a soft loan facility to provide liquidity to severely affected SMEs. As part of the loan facility, the BOT also provided funding to financial institutions at low funding rate to channel liquidity to businesses in need.

There were approximately 3.19 million SMEs in Thailand in 2022, which altogether constituted 99.5% of all enterprises which composed of 2 727 186 micro enterprises (85.6%), 416 628 small enterprises (13.1%), and 43 564 medium enterprises (1.4%) (see Table 47.2). Based on the types of business registration, SMEs established in 2022 can be divided into three categories: juristic person (837 147 enterprises), ordinary person & others (2 268 483 enterprises), and community enterprise (81 748 enterprises).

Over 41.9% of Thai SMEs are in the wholesale and retail sectors, followed by 40.1% in other services, 16.3% in manufacturing, and 1.7% in agriculture (see Table 43.3).

Commercial bank lending is the largest source of external financing for SMEs. In 2022, outstanding SME loans totalled THB 3.387 trillion, representing 34.58% of all outstanding business loans.

SMEs can also obtain loans from specialized financial institutions, non-banks providing personal loans and nanofinance1, cooperatives, and other community-level financial institutions. In addition, SMEs loan demand slightly increased for working capital thanks to improving economic prospects. However, credit standards for SMEs loans tightened due to uncertainties outlook.

In the later half of 2022, financial condition tightened in line with higher policy rate but remained accommodative. In addition, SMEs credit demand continue to increase particularly in loans for working capital purposes as well as building up goods inventory in preparation for the economic recovery.

On the loan quality front, debtors affected by COVID-19 continued to receive credit assistance from banks to support SMEs who has weathered the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic to access cheap funding with a more accommodative credit line and flexible guarantee scheme for enhancing business efficiency and upgrading competitiveness in the new normal environment. However, the gross non-performing ratio of the SMEs slightly decreased to 6.68 in 2022.

SMEs in Thailand have access to alternative sources of funding such as the Market for Alternative Investments (MAI) exchange, crowdfunding, venture capital and private placement.

The Market for Alternative Investments (MAI) is a stock exchange for smaller firms. It provides SMEs with a platform to raise capital at a lower paid-up capital than in the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Through the MAI exchange, SMEs can raise capital if they have over THB 50 million in paid-up capital following an IPO. In 2022, 198 companies were listed on MAI.

Crowdfunding is another channel for SMEs to access funds. Under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission, companies may raise funds from a pool of investors through equity-based crowdfunding.

Venture capital provides an opportunity for companies to access funding from investors, including financial institutions. Venture capital funds in Thailand benefit from certain tax privileges such as exemption from income tax. The Bank of Thailand revised its Regulations on Venture Capital and FinTech Businesses of Financially Consolidated Groups. The objectives of the revision were to increase unlisted companies’ access to alternative funding, especially for SMEs and FinTech firms, and to enhance effective development of financial services provided by financial institutions and conglomerates.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) has enacted regulations enabling SMEs and startup companies to raise funds in the capital markets by way of private placement for offering newly issued shares or convertible debentures (CD), so-called PP-SME. SMEs and start-up companies are also required to register for PP-SME with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) and prepare SME Factsheet (i.e. information describing business operations, financial, type of securities, and related risks) as newly issued shares or CD are being offered to pre-selected investors or institutions.

SME access to commercial bank loans is constrained due to their general lack of credit history, collateral, and reliable financial statements. To tackle these limitations, the government has introduced various measures to ease SMEs’ access to funding. In addition, the government has launched capacity-building programmes to boost SMEs’ competitiveness.

For example, the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) was established to ease SMEs’ financial constraints by providing credit guarantees for viable small enterprises with inadequate collateral. In 2009, the TCG introduced the Portfolio Guarantee Scheme designed to stimulate bank loans to SMEs. Since then, there have been five Portfolio Guarantee Schemes include schemes for general SMEs, micro-SMEs as well as SMEs affected by the COVID-19. The outstanding guarantee amount has increased over the years and totalled THB 651 billion at the end of 2022 in TCG’s portfolio.

Another measure that has promoted SME access to finance is the Business Collateral Act B.E. 2558 (2015). Prior to the Act, lenders could create security interests over their borrowers’ property and movable assets to secure loans. However, borrowers had to physically deliver their pledged movable assets to the lender, which was operationally impractical for a number of reasons. The Act has allowed security interests to be created without the need to physically deliver assets and also expanded the types of collateral which SMEs can register and use to secure loans. Collateral that is eligible to be registered as securities includes receivables, inventory, and intellectual property. In conjunction, the Bank of Thailand has also revised several financial regulations. In particular, amendments have been made to regulations concerning asset classification, the provisioning of financial institutions, collateral appraisals, foreclosure procedures, credit guarantees and public auctions. All of these revisions have permitted more types of collateral to be used to secure loans and deducted from loan value prior to underwriting.

Recently, the BOT has enhanced access of SMEs to financial services by implementing regulatory frameworks to support new innovative financial providers. For instance, peer-to-peer lending platforms provide online services to match borrowers who are individuals including business owners with lenders, and digital personal lenders provide loans by adopting digital technology for all lending processes and incorporating alternative data for loan analysis instead of traditional financial documents.

Moreover, the BOT promoted the digital transformation of the factoring business under “Digital Factoring Ecosystem Development Project” to improve the efficiency and inclusion of Micro SMEs in accessing factoring services. The key elements to be developed under the project are: (1) infrastructure such as digital invoice standard to reduce the risks of fraud and the central web service that allows banks and non-banks to check against the risks of double-financing, and (2) digital factoring-related processes by engaging with the private sector in the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) testing for the processes which would be further recommended for all stakeholders.


Bank of Thailand. (2022). Monetary policy report. Retrieved from Bank of Thailand website: https://www.bot.or.th/en/our-roles/monetary-policy/mpc-publication/Monetary-Policy-Report.html

Department of Business Development. (2015). Business Collateral Act B.E. 2558 (2015). Retrieved from Department of Business Development website: https://www.dbd.go.th/more_news.php?cid=1033&filename=law_secutran

Stock Exchange of Thailand. (2022). Market Statistics. Retrieved from Stock Exchange of Thailand website: https://www.set.or.th/th/market/market_statistics.html

Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation. (2022). Operating Performance. Retrieved from Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation website: http://www.tcg.or.th/aboutus_operating_performance.php

Thai Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Office Promotion. (2022). MSME White Paper on 2022. Retrieved from Thai Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Office Promotion website: http://www.sme.go.th/th/download.php?modulekey=215

Thai Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Office Promotion. (2022).  Retrieved from Thai Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Office Promotion website: https://www.sme.go.th/th/page.php?modulekey=348


← 1. Nanofinance business under supervision, means finance for the purpose of business undertaking, where the credit underwriting process is flexible and consistent with the nature of debtors e.g. start up business. The total credit line for each loan must not exceed 100,000 baht, with maturity as agreed between customers and financial institutions.

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