Thai PM pushes for minimum wage raise

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin declared yesterday that Thailand must abandon its reliance on low labour costs to entice foreign investments, pushing for a raise in the country’s minimum wage.

Addressing a panel discussion titled Learning from ASEAN at the World Economic Forum in Davos, PM Srettha emphasised a paradigm shift in priorities.

“Low labour cost should not be the attracting point. The attractive point should be clean energy, good international schools, good public health care system, fair capital market, zero corruption, and ease of doing business.”

Pinpointing low labour costs as a stumbling block to the region’s progress, the Bangkok-born PM announced plans to collaborate with Prime Minister Hun Manet of Cambodia and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to explore the possibility of elevating minimum wages across ASEAN nations.

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“Leaders of ASEAN countries should work together to lift the minimum wages to a reasonable level.”

The 61 year old Thai prime minister proposed that alternative incentives be employed to lure investments from economic powerhouses such as the US, Europe, and China, reported Thai PBS World.

This groundbreaking revelation comes amidst a growing video clip controversy. The clip, posted on Twitter yesterday, January 19 captures the prime minister’s candid remarks.

In related news, the Labour Ministry, headed by Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, is considering raising the minimum wage for certain professions as a Songkran festival gift. The announcement is expected to take place within a year, covering the entire country. Additionally, the Cabinet is looking into providing a full monthly salary for maternity leave of 98 days.

In other news, Starbucks, one of Thailand’s most popular coffee chains, announced that the prices of its beverages will be increased by 5 baht at all of its stores across the country.

One cup of coffee from Starbucks is now more expensive than Thailand’s national minimum wage. The corporation says the reason for the price hike is due to the current economic situation, which, according to an official Starbucks statement, has caused the cost of operation and management to increase its prices.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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