Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for May 15

Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for May 15

Cabinet Resolutions

  • Due to the covid-19 pandemic, a royal decree has been drafted to postpone the enforcement of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) by one year.
  • Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the Emergency Decree may or may not be extended beyond the end of May.
  • This Thursday, the CAAT released a statement granting the Phuket international airport permission to operate domestic flights limitedly.
  • The South Korean Embassy in Bangkok has issued a statement to the Thai government to remove South Korea from the list of covid-19 high risk countries.
  • Some resolutions were previously mentioned in the last session, read here.

PDPA Postponement

  • AMCHAM members have requested for greater clarifications on the postponement of the PDPA and for the government to iron out all the related regulations to serve as guidelines for businesses to comply with.
  • The Royal Decree drafted by the Ministry of Digital Economy stated that most sections of the act will be postponed, but there is no precise description of which parts will still move along and which will be dropped.
  • However, AMCHAM Government Affairs Director recommends that whether the postponement comes in whole or in parts, companies should prepare for when it arrives next year, nonetheless.

Contact-Tracing App

  • The government has launched a new measure to restrain the spread of the coronavirus once they start further easing the lockdown called the “Thai Chana” (Thailand Wins) app encouraging all shop owners to register online and provide a QR code for customers to scan when entering and leaving the premises.
  • The application will be practicable for all types of shops including street vendors.
  • It is still not clear if use of the app will be mandatory, more details will be released this afternoon following the introduction of the app to the community.
  • There is always the issue of privacy for certain people, but some may prefer it as they will be reducing the risk of getting in contact with an infected person.

Travel Restrictions and Quarantine

  • Thailand still carries a self-quarantine period for foreign travelers of 14 days where the individual is not allowed to leave the quarantine area until completion.
  • A member who had contracts with partners outside of the country mentioned that if the partner’s country lifted the ban and they request the member’s workers to be sent there, they would face a big disadvantage once the workers return, they would have to be suspended from work for 2 whole weeks.
  • Thus, members suggest that the governments in the region develop further measures regarding travel restrictions safely, collaboratively, and reciprocally.

Work from Home

  • Many companies are setting June 1 as their first day to return to the office, whether it be all or a portion of the workforce.
  • A member stated they had very little interruptions from covid-19. Even though their staffs had to come to work in two shifts, most client offices were open so there was no trouble getting into client’s premises to offer services.
  • As for the AMCHAM office, they have installed tall plexiglass sheets between work desks to limit contact and prevent any case of the virus spreading in the workplace.
  • One company pointed out that their business is adapting to working from home very effectively. According to their internal surveys, the level of satisfaction toward WFH in the Asia Pacific region is skyrocketing compared to their offices in Greater China and Western Europe.
  • They believe that a percentage of their workforce will adopt a new schedule that incorporates WFH from now onwards.

 

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