News businesses up 12 percent, existing firms embrace digital

Increasing optimism about the Thai economy helped drive a strong rise in new business registrations, which rose 12 percent in June from May, and 10 percent year on year, the Ministry of Commerce said last week, while a recent survey showed that existing businesses are overwhelmingly embracing digital transformation.

“The key sectors that private firms invested in and registered new companies in are logistics, construction and real estate,” said Banjongjitt Angsusingh, director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s Department of Business Development.

She added that many of these new businesses were established in response to the slew of major infrastructure projects the government is already building or planning. The government is committed to constructing new high-speed and double track rail lines, commuter rail lines, roads, airport and seaport expansions and water management facilities. The cost of these various projects has been estimated at about $100 billion.

In addition, the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor will also present bountiful opportunities for businesses in construction, logistics and real estate. The corridor is the showcase development zone for Thailand 4.0, the national strategy designed to transform Thailand into a more advanced economy and society through innovation and research and development.

A total of 6,525 new businesses registered with the department in June. That was12 percent higher than the previous month and 10 percent higher than the same period last year.The total new registered capital was $1.2 billion in June, up 30 percent from May and 130 percent from the same period last year, according to the department.

Banjongjitt credited the Board of Investment with helping to spur new business registrations through its generous incentives and privileges. But the main factor was the rising confidence in the economy.

She said that she expects that private investment will continue to increase throughout the second half of this year, and that the department will likely see its target of 66,000 new business registrations for 2017 surpassed.

Meanwhile, existing Thai companies are embracing the digital age, according to a recent survey conducted by IFS, an enterprise software developer based in Sweden.

The survey of 750 professionals found that 80 percent of them said their companies were enabled to adopt digital transformation, while 27 percent said the transformation has made them more competitive and 29 percent said it had increased innovation.

The results are “a clear acknowledgment that the time of disruptive technologies is here, and that the vast majority of firms are realizing that they need to invest in digital,” IFS said.