Chamber puts spotlight on urgent issues
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Chamber puts spotlight on urgent issues

Mr Pita, left, and Mr Sanan held discussions on Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Mr Pita, left, and Mr Sanan held discussions on Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The Thai Chamber of Commerce highlighted three urgent issues in talks held on Wednesday, with expediting the formation of a new government the priority to ensure the continuity of budget allocation.

Speaking after holding talks with Pita Limjaroenrat, the Move Forward Party's leader and prime ministerial candidate, along with his party's executives, chamber chairman Sanan Angubolkul said the private sector also proposed the new government improve the country's competitiveness by addressing costly electricity bills, wages, ease of doing business and legal reforms.

He said other suggestions pertain to the agricultural and small business sectors to build up confidence in the country's economy.

Regarding a proposed hike in the minimum wage to 450 baht per day, Mr Sanan said both sides have some different outlooks, but they are not significant.

They both agree on the need to raise the minimum wage, but the issue may require further negotiations in terms of the rate and time frame, he said.

"There has not been any official announcement or policy declaration from the party on when a minimum wage hike will begin, though it pledged 'within 100 days' during the campaign," said Mr Sanan.

"Teams from both sides should discuss the matter and potential effects, as today's discussion was based on scientific evidence and not emotional decisions."

He said both sides agreed on the need for clear economic stimulus measures, as Mr Pita said he wants to drive a dual economy within the country, not solely focus on foreign direct investment.

Mr Pita also desires an expedited government formation with a clear time frame, said Mr Sanan.

A new government is expected to be established by September to accelerate budget allocation because of concerns about limited time for disbursement, which could potentially affect stimulus measures, he said.

The international community is closely monitoring the situation, said Mr Sanan.

Following the discussion, Mr Pita said the time frame for a minimum wage increase is likely to be close to the pledge of within 100 days in office, though it may be adjusted slightly.

Both parties will first need to negotiate an appropriate wage level, he said.

Whether a higher minimum wage will affect the price of goods, Mr Pita said the party's studies found this is not always the case when wages rise.

A wage hike should improve people's quality of life and increase their income, he said.

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