BANGKOK, Jan 30 – The Thai Retailers Association estimates that the country’s retail business this year will grow 12 per cent, according to the organisation’s president.
Busaba Chirathivat said the rise will be due to government stimulus packages encouraging the public to spend more from their higher income, such as from the Bt300 minimum wage rise, the ‘first-time car buyers’ tax rebate, the rice -pledging scheme.
The projected 12 per cent growth in the retail industry will partly result from more convenience stores opening upcountry, particularly along Thailand’s borders with other countries, in order to welcome the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Meanwhile, Ms Busaba said the association is ready to cooperate with the Commerce Minister to peg commodity prices to help consumers although retail operators have been negatively affected by the Bt300 minimum wage. Methods to increase higher sales volumes will be applied to compensate for higher production costs, the president said.
Thai Retailers Association also asked the government to consider lower import taxes on some merchandise such as garments, jewellery, and cosmetics. Ms Busaba said the import duties for these types of goods are levied at 30-40 per cent, causing their prices in Thailand to be higher than those in neighbouring countries.
She said the lower taxes would attract foreign tourists to spend more money in Thailand, another means to generate revenues.