BANGKOK, 5 June 2012 – The number of new factories opening up in May has dropped four folds from that of the same period last year despite signs of economic recovery.
According to a report from the Industry Ministry, only 278 new factories, worth a combined 6.1 billion baht investment, were registered in May; a four-fold drop from the 23.9 billion baht recorded in May last year.
The report cited that some investors put off their plans due to concerns over the European debt crisis while others shifted their investments to neighboring countries to exploit lower labor costs, given the 300-baht minimum wage policy is expected to be implemented across Thailand on January 1st. next year.
Textile, garment, and food industries, which hire large numbers of workers, are most affected by the minimum wage rise.
Although the figure of new investments has dropped, the ministry remains unperturbed, saying the standards of the Thai industries are being uplifted, adding that low wage will no longer exist because the Thai government has given top priority to lifting its people’s quality of life.