Government to assist SMEs affected by minimum wage increase

The government will today (Wednesday) roll out several remedy measures to help small and medium scale enterprises after concern that the recent minimum wage increase by 5-22 baht across the country will probably take toll on them.

The measures followed latest survey showing SMEs would be most affected by the minimum wage increase.

According to the survey on the minimum wage increase’s impact on SMEs, by the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce’s (UTCC) Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, it revealed that the current SME situation index in the fourth quarter of 2017 stayed at 42.3, increased by 1.2 points from the previous quarter.

The competency index in doing business was 50.2, dropped by 0.1 point.

It said although the figures showed Thai SMEs has started to recover, but the increase in minimum wage will have impact on them.

It advised them to adapt themselves by introducing machinery and IT system in production to cope with the change.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayon said the Cabinet would discuss the remedy measures at today’s meeting.

They include the three-year remedy plan targeting 50,000 entrepreneurs.

In the first year, the measure will help 10,000 entrepreneurs reduce cost by 10 per cent before it will expand assistance to additional 20,000 others in the second year and the rest 20,000 in the third years.

In addition, it will cooperate with the private sector, SMEs bank, and Thailand Productivity Institute to develop researches for SMEs and to give them consulting service.

Under the project, 50 big companies will join to train SMEs this year and assist them to add value to their products and increase their sales volumes.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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