Thai retail business to grow 7-8% by year end


BANGKOK, July 26 – Thailand’s retail sector is expected to continue growing by 7-8 per cent by the end of this year as a result of the new government which is expected to help boost the Consumer Confidence Index, according to Busaba Chirathivat, Thai Retailers Association president.

She said some Bt40-50 billion was circulating in the country’s retail business in the lead-up to the July 3 general election.

Farmers have earned more recently as prices of almost all agricultural products have increased, including para rubber, rice, palm oil, sugar cane and soybean.

Also, the higher spending was due to the higher salaries, previously raised by the government, for civil servants and private sector employees.

Ms Busaba said her association advised the new government to emphasise the importance of retail business as a national agenda item in order to strengthen business and boost competitiveness before Thailand becomes part of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

The AEC is one of the pillars to be achieved by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to develop a single market and integrated production base for the free flow of goods, capital, services and labour. However, it does not aim to adopt a single currency like the European Union.

Meanwhile, Thai Retailers Association adviser Chatchai Tuangrattanapan said the daily minimum wage increase to Bt300/day as promised by the incoming administration as far as the retail business sector is concerned will be highly affected by the policy implementation, particularly small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs), but they need to take time to adapt to remain competitive in the market.