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08/12/2023 14:42

Thailand to raise minimum wage by 2.37% from Jan 1

Thailand is set to implement a 2.37% increase in the average daily minimum wage starting January 1 next year, falling short of the Pheu Thai party's election promise. The adjustment, agreed upon by a committee comprising government representatives, private companies, and labor groups, will raise the minimum wage to a range of 330 to 370 baht ($9.33 to $10.46) per day, varying across different regions. Pairoj Chotikasathien, the permanent secretary of labor, stated that this modification aims to align workers' living standards with economic conditions while remaining conducive for businesses.

Although the populist Pheu Thai party had committed to raising the minimum wage to 400 baht per day as a crucial element of its election manifesto, the agreed-upon increase is seen as a compromise. The prior government had implemented a 5.02% hike in October of the previous year. The proposed substantial increase by Pheu Thai had raised concerns among businesses about potential rises in operating costs, potentially diminishing Thailand's competitiveness for investors, especially during a period of economic underperformance in the region.

Thailand's economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia, recorded a slower-than-expected growth rate of 1.5% in the third quarter compared to the previous year. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, a real estate tycoon and political newcomer, is actively working to attract investors, declaring an "economic crisis." He emphasizes the necessity of executing stimulus plans, including the controversial $14 billion digital handout policy scheduled for implementation in the coming year. Pairoj Chotikasathien also indicated that another wage increase is planned for 2024, with the aim of reaching the 400 baht threshold. ($1 = 35.3700 baht)