Thailand’s minimum wage hike to Bt300 has increased the capital costs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by almost six percent, with the textile industry being hit hardest, Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said last week.
He said the capital cost of small enterprises is 5.75 percent higher, followed by medium-sized businesses at 5.63 percent and big industries at 4.83 percent.
Their total capital cost increased at average 5.38 percent, he said.
Prasert said the most-affected industry is the textiles sector whose capital cost is 7.73 percent higher, followed by food and beverages (6.12 percent) and electronics (5.63 percent).
He said the Industry Ministry and related government agencies have integrated assistance measures to relieve the enterprises’ financial burden by injecting circulating capital for SMEs and offering low interest loans, jointly investing with the private sector in machinery development and promoting their investment with tax and annual fee exemptions.