Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for April 17

Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for April 17

Summary

Cabinet Resolutions

  • The finance ministry is set to waive custom duty for medical supplies (N95 masks, surgical gowns, medicine, testing kits, …) that can be used to treat and prevent covid-19 along with the recent resolution to distribute supplies to hospitals throughout Thailand.
  • CAAT has again extended inbound flights to the April 30, as the third phase of the extension.
  • According to an announcement by the Ministry of Labor, ensured persons who have become unemployed due to Covid-19 can receive unemployment benefits for up to 62% of daily wages, not exceeding 90 days for 2 cases:
    • Employer suspended the worker for 14 days in quarantine
    • Employer ordered to close by government or close on their own
  • Following a virtual summit, ASEAN+3 including China, Japan and South Korea has agreed to set up a joint fund to fight against the virus.

 

Businesses Moving Forward

  • Members in the manufacturing industry are pushing on with extra sanitation measures and safety protocols put into place for the workers, while office staffs are mainly working from home or having just enough people going into the office to keep it open.
  • Currently, all businesses seem to be in a slow period, standing by to see the next response from the government since infection rates in Bangkok are slowly, but surely dropping. There are rumors of areas going into a full lockdown, but also rumors saying some provinces are planning to open up.
  • A member in the FMCG industry mentioned that they are waiting for the 5,000 Baht government checks to kick in, assuming it would indicate firms can start returning to normal business.

 

AMCHAM Advocacy

  • On Friday last week, AMCHAM sent a letter addressed to the Prime Minister with several ministers in copy, regarding keeping trade open and moving throughout the region and keeping as much of the economy running as we can.
  • The presidents of the Foreign Chamber Alliance cooperated on a letter to the Thai government asking for clarification on the 62% daily wage social assistance, in the case where the company was not shut down but affected by reduced revenue from the outbreak.
  • The U.S. Ambassador Michael G. DeSombre has set up a council that will discuss the reopening of the Thai economy from a U.S. business point of view.

 

Future of Restrictions

  • Relative to percentage, Thailand has managed the pandemic well, unless cases were under-reported, which leads the Thai government to plan a meeting to assess the current situation. They are looking to gradually loosen up some of the sectors, e.g. barbers, beauty salons, restaurants.
  • The ban on alcohol is said to be removed on Monday, April 20th and it will be a good sign if that follows through.
  • It also depends on the cooperation of the people, if they follow the social distancing measures and the recent 10PM-4AM nation-wide curfew.

 

Action Points

  • Consider sending out a survey to members about the impact from covid-19
  • AMCHAM Works Together would like to show the joint efforts of our members in the fight against covid-19. For companies offering support to the local Thai community, whether in cash, time or any other resources, we would like to ensure your work and generosity does not go unnoticed, please reach out to kittie@amchamthailand.com

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