Lifestyle products business seeks government help


BANGKOK, Dec 12 – Thai lifestyle products entrepreneurs have asked the government to find ways to help small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cope with the government’s minimum wage rise policy, and other economic situations.

Thai Lifestyle Products Federation (TLPF) chairman Supat Sriwannavit said entrepreneurs under the federation, which comprises seven associations, have been affected by the minimum wage rise to Bt300, the eurozone crisis, and the downward trending US economy, causing about 100 businesses from about 3,000, to slow down or close their businesses.

Most of them are SMEs and exporters, he said.

To help entrepreneurs, the federation asked the government to find more funding sources at low interest rates, set up a funding committee to help those affected within a budget of Bt2 billion, find and support new markets in terms of technology and for exports.

Mr Supat said the value of Thai exports has fallen over 50 per cent due to those factors. TLPF estimated lifestyle products exports this year to reach US$3 billion from Bt2.6 billion in the first 10 months, or an increase of only 2 per cent from the previous forecast of 5 per cent.

TLPF Secretary-General Jirabool Vittayasing said higher production costs from the wage rise and raw material costs, entrepreneurs’ lack of access to funding sources, China’s dumping measures, unexpanded domestic consumption, and limited sales distribution channels have been obstacles to Thai lifestyle product entrepreneurs, particularly SMEs.