Some businesses suffering from the impact of higher wage costs will have to increase goods prices to survive, the chief of the Chamber of Commerce in the lower Central provinces says.
Teerachai Chutiman, chairman of the group representing businesses in Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri and Nakhon Pathom, yesterday conceded some operators may have to push the labour cost burden onto consumers after being hit hard by the 300-baht daily minimum wage policy.
Other operators could opt to shoulder the increased cost burden themselves, depending on their products, he added.
Employing hundreds of thousands of workers in the four provinces, small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will suffer more from the wage hike than big operators because SMEs are mostly labour-intensive, Mr Teerachai said.
Businesses will now use more machinery in their manufacturing instead of hiring workers, he added.
"The SMEs have a high risk of closing," Mr Teerachai said. "Their product prices are not competitive, such as for shoe production."
Meanwhile, Supranee Siriaphanond, president of the Federation of Thai Industries' Lampang Chapter, said the ceramics industry in the province is undergoing a financial crisis in the wake of the wage boost. Five ceramics producer SMEs out of 200 troubled ones have closed due to a lack of capital and orders, she said.