Kanok Abhiradee, the president of the Small Industry Finance Corporation has revealed plans to invest 1bn baht (US$0.02bn) in methods to promote food safety standards among Thai food manufacturers.

According to an article in the local newspaper the Bangkok Post, soft loans and joint-venture proposals will target between 200 and 500 domestic manufacturers.

The aim is to get these manufacturers to improve their production efficiency and health standards, as well as build their competitiveness, explained Abhiradee.

About 100m baht out of the total budget will be distributed as loans with interest up to 1% point below the agency’s normal rates, with a grace period of up to two years.

Abhiradee added that the maximum repayment period will be ten years, but on a case-by-case basis it may be possible to obtain extensions of up to five years.