Over 1,000 factories set up over past six months

Over 1,000 factories set up over past six months

More than 1,000 new factories, mostly in the food industry, have been established over the past six months with investment worth 56.3 billion baht, a sign the domestic economy is slowly recovering, says the Department of Industrial Works.

The number of business closures stood at 361 during the first half of fiscal 2022, down 8.38%, while 12,172 workers were laid off, down 8.74% from the same period last year.

The numbers reflect an improved economy following the severe impact on small factories during the pandemic, said department chief Wanchai Phanomchai.

Food was the most popular business among new factories, followed by wood and steel processing.

The new factories employed 31,330 workers, according to the department.

The number of new factories was lower than that in the same period in the last fiscal year, but Mr Wanchai believes investment will continue to grow from this month if the ongoing Covid-19 situation remains under control.

He believes the number of new factories, along with those expanding their production capacity, in fiscal 2022 will not be less than those in the last fiscal year, but the prospect will be eventually determined by the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.

The department admitted many factories have not met environmental standards, especially raising concerns over the discharge of hazardous waste into the environment.

Authorities are enforcing more legal measures against factory owners who violate laws.

Mr Wanchai said the department imposes more punishments on factories which secretly discard industrial waste and those that release wastewater without treatment.

Up to 40,000 operators already face charges for their failure to report the transport of industrial waste, he said.

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