Thailand recommends daily minimum wage hikes up to 7 percent

BANGKOK, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Thailand’s Central Wage Committee has recommended that the daily minimum wage be increased by 7 percent to 330 baht ($10.33) in its two most industrialised provinces, Chonburi and Rayong.

The committee recommended increases of between 5 to 22 baht across Thailand’s 77 provinces starting from April, Jarin Chakkaphark, permanent secretary of the labour ministry, told reporters after the panel met late on Wednesday.

For the capital Bangkok and six nearby provinces, the committee recommended the minimum wage should be increased 4.8 percent to 325 baht ($10.17) per day.

The increases would put Thailand, along with Malaysia and the Philippines, among the countries with the highest minimum monthly wages in Southeast Asia.

In Vietnam, a regional manufacturing base, the government’s minimum wage range is $113.61 to $165.13 per month. In Cambodia, a global garment-making hub, the minimum monthly wage for garment workers is $170.

The Thai committee’s recommendation must be approved by Cabinet before it can take effect. The committee said the new wage, once approved by Cabinet - a formality - will start from April this year.

Thailand ranks among the world’s top automotive export countries and is a regional manufacturing hub, particularly for Japanese carmakers. The country is also among the world’s top exporters of rice, shrimp, rubber and sugar. ($1 = 31.9600 baht) (Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Additional reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)