FTI proposes establishment of fund to promote overseas investment among SMEs


BANGKOK, 3 April 2012  – The private sector has proposed that the government set up a fund to encourage SME entrepreneurs to invest overseas in order to minimize the impact of the new wage increase and brace for the ASEAN Economic Community. 

Vice Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Thanit Sorat has disclosed that the private sector wishes to see the establishment of a 1 billion-baht fund aimed at helping SME entrepreneurs enhance their capacity by granting loans for the purchase of machinery as well as other aspects of development, such as training for workers. Additionally, the fund will also serve to encourage overseas investment in Thailand’s neighbouring countries, where labour cost is lower, with the objective of lessening the burden brought on by the recently-implemented 300-baht minimum wage hike policy, while bracing for the competition from the ASEAN Economic Community.

Meanwhile, the FTI also proposed that the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) increase special incentives to urge Thai investors to invest more in the country’s neighbours.

Meanwhile, FTI Chairman Payungsak Chartsutthiphol said that the organisation is currently gathering data on the impact of the wage hike policy on entrepreneurs for the government, so that the latter will be able to come up with additional assistance measures, such as the reduction of fees and other expenses, and certain types of tax.