Increase in the Productivity of Thai Labor in Preparation for the ASEAN Community (28/05/2012)
The Government has encouraged entrepreneurs and workers to pay greater attention to enhancing the quality of Thai labor in preparation for the ASEAN Community in three years’ time.

Labor Minister Phadermchai Sasomsub stated that the emphasis on the quality of labor would be favorable to the promotion of innovations and creativity and the effort to increase the productivity of Thai labor.

He stressed the need to enhance the potential of Thai labor in response to the Government’s policy of raising the daily minimum rate to 300 baht. Since April 2012, the 300-baht daily minimum wage has been implemented in seven provinces, namely Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom, and Phuket. It will become effective in the other 70 provinces in January 2013.

Mr. Phadermchai urged both entrepreneurs and workers to equip themselves with know-how on high technology used in modern manufacturing and to emphasize the upgrading of labor skills. The objective is to help develop Thai businesses, so that they would be competitive in the world market.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, meanwhile, cited labor as an important factor for all stages of industrial production. For this reason, she said, the Government attached great importance to skill development, which also includes labor protection and welfare, as well as work safety. She explained that the Government had decided to adjust the daily minimum wage in order to enable workers to earn more income to cope with rising costs of living and to increase their purchasing power. The move would also contribute to the Thai economy in the long run.

The Prime Minister stated that 2012 is considered the year for an increase in the productivity of Thai labor. So workers needed to enhance their efficiency through the development of their skills. In this regard, she said, the Ministry of Labor and other related agencies would work in an integrated manner to develop skilled labor, leading to production of good quality.

The Prime Minister said that the Government was proceeding with its plan to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with greater access to funding sources, so that they would be able to increase their productivity. The Ministry of Industry has been assigned to help reduce costs for SMEs on a long-term basis. By so doing, the foundation of the Thai economy would be strengthened and become stable. This would also help prepare Thai SMEs, workers, and the business community to cope with new challenges arising from the realization of the ASEAN Community in 2015.

She called on all sectors of Thai society to adjust themselves to the changing situation in the world, especially to ASEAN's integration as a single community in the near future.

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