11 July 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said yesterday Thailand should not continue to use low labour cost as an incentive to draw foreign investments and urged ASEAN countries to work together to increase their minimum wages.

“Low labour cost should not be the attracting point.  The attracting point should be clean energy, good international schools, good public health care system, fair capital market, zero corruption, and ease of doing business,” Sretth said during a panel discussion on “Learning from ASEAN” on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

While blaming low labour cost as a hindrance to the region’s growth, Srettha said he intends to discuss with Prime Minister Hun Manet of Cambodia and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on how ASEAN countries should consider hiking their minimum wages.

“Leaders of ASEAN countries should work together to lift the minimum wages to a reasonable level,” he said, adding that other incentives should be used to attract investments from the US, Europe and China.  A video clip of Srettha’s remarks was posted on X yesterday.