BANGKOK, 1 May 2012 – According to the Commerce Ministry, the number of businesses closed down in the first quarter this year is nearly twice as many of that of the same period in 2011 due to the rise in minimum wage. The government is trying to do all it could to assist the SMEs.
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.