The Commerce Ministry has reported that almost 2,800 companies closed down in the first quarter of 2012, a 96% increase from the first quarter of 2011's figure. Meanwhile, the number of new business registration in the first quarter of this year is 5% fewer than last year’s.
The ministry is trying to come up with assistance measures to soften the impact of the rising production cost stemming from the 300-baht minimum wage policy. Deputy Commerce Minister Siriwat Kachornprasart has assigned the Department of Business Development to study the assistance plans for SMEs, focusing on franchise, restaurant, spa and service businesses.
Under the plan, the department will encourage SMEs to utilize more e-commerce and increase import-export effectiveness. Mr Siriwat said the entrepreneurs were dealt a heavy blow by the rising minimum wage, but they will be able to adapt to it soon.