Thai business registrations rise, including burgeoning spiritual belief sector

Thai business registrations rise, including burgeoning spiritual belief sector

The number of newly registered businesses grew in the first quarter of this year, with enterprises in the burgeoning spiritual belief sector generating economic value of 15 billion baht.

Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Business Development Department, said the Thai economy continues to show signs of growth, with private sector investment reflected in new business registrations rising to 25,000, with registered capital worth 68 billion baht.

Internal factors affecting new business registration include state budget disbursement, economic situation, weather conditions, and government policy still awaiting clarity.

External factors include Japan's first interest rate hike in 17 years, escalating geopolitical tension, the economic uncertainties of important trading partners such as US, Russian and Indian elections, as well as the economic situation of China, which is a major Thai trading partner.

The top five types of new business registrations in the first quarter this year were: entertainment, such as music and art (up 64%), attributed to the expanded use of social media platforms for entertainment and online marketing; furniture (up 57.8%), attributed to the abundance of raw materials such as wood, rattan and rubber; automobiles and auto parts (up 47.6%), attributed to the increase in vehicle registrations; spas (up 35.6%), attributed to rising demand among older people, both Thais and foreigners; and real estate, such as hotels, resorts and condos (up 37.8%), attributed to a rebound in tourism.

Businesses related to spiritual beliefs have grown significantly over the past five years, according to the department.

The desire for prosperity in career, wealth, luck and/or love, support in an economic slowdown, dealing with social inequality, a pandemic, environmental issues, digital disruption and/or conflicts in points of view are all issues that drive people towards prayer and spirituality.

Several business entrepreneurs have also tapped into these needs by offering products and services to attract spiritual believers, including horoscopes, amulets and even advice on auspicious colours and numbers.

As of March 2024, 134 companies operated spiritual beliefs-related businesses with a total capital of 136 million baht, according to the Business Development Department.

The majority reside in Bangkok (46.3%) while the rest are in the central region (26.1%),the eastern region (9.70%), the Northeast (5.22%), the North (5.22%), the South (4.48%), and the West (2.99%).

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