The Nation



Row blamed for plunge in start-ups

Business start-ups declined drastically last month out of concern that the political demonstrations would erode investor confidence.

Nuttawut Saikuar, caretaker deputy commerce minister, acknowledged yesterday that launches this month could also be scaled back because of the political conflict.

The Commerce Ministry hopes to see signs of renewed investment around the end of the year as anticipation grows ahead of the general election scheduled for February.

The ministry's Business Development Department reported that new business registrations last month plunged by 32 per cent year on year and by 16 per cent from October to 4,397. But initial investment capital increased by 17 per cent year on year and 33 per cent month on month to Bt30.68 billion.

For the first 11 months, the number of newly set-up companies rose by 9 per cent to 64,396, so the full-year target of 70,000 firms could be missed, again blamed on concerns over the political uncertainty.

Nuttawut said investment next year could recover after the forming of a new government. If the new administration proceeds with the infrastructure-development project, that should help promote more investment. Asean's integration by 2015 should also help increase investment in Thailand as the country is considered a hub linking countries in the region together.

The department reported that business closures in November increased by 1 per cent year on year and 13 per cent from October to 1,783 companies. In the first 11 months, 12,853 companies were shut down, down slightly by 2 per cent.

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