Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for May 20

Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for May 20

Cabinet Resolutions

  • The government has approved the request by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society not to postpone the act, but exempt certain agencies and businesses from complying with the Personal Data Protection Act for one year.
  • BMA has eased restrictions on 10 more business groups and allow them to be open: shopping centers, shops in malls, day-care nursing homes, film-shooting team, meeting rooms, clinics, fitness centers, indoor exercise, swimming pools and botanical gardens.
  • The contact-tracing “Thai Chana” app has launched where customers would have to use their mobile phones to scan QR codes when they enter or leave shops and the premises.
  • The ban on international flights has been extended until the end of June, whereas domestic flights have resumed since May 1.
  • China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau have been taken off Thailand’s list of high-risk countries.
  • Tourism Authority of Thailand plans to rebrand the nation as the new “Amazing Trusted Thailand” in the post-coronavirus era as a quality destination guaranteeing health and safety standards for tourists.
  • The National Economic and Social Development Council has forecasted that Thai GDP will shrink 5-6% in 2020, considering there will be very limited outbreak in the remaining second quarter.

 

PDPA

  • The main reason why the PDPA was not completely postponed to 2021 was the ministry believes that this exemption of 22 establishments would cover just about everybody, with the purpose that the committee can carry on with their underlying work and prepare for the full introduction next year.
  • Another reason was that fully postponing the entire act legally seem rather difficult.

 

Delayed Financial Aid

  • A member with over 1000 employees applied for government social assistance stated that most have not been paid still and the ones that are getting paid are not receiving it fast enough, with some going for two months without any payment.
  • AMCHAM is planning to write another follow-up paper to the prime minister on this issue. This letter will focus on the importance on speeding up the social security payments.

 

Reopening the Workplace

  • One member in the consumer products and pharmaceuticals industry, spoke that separate from their distribution centers which had to remain fully staffed anyhow, the office is still 30-50 percent occupied with necessary employees or people who cannot work from home.
  • They’re still discussing on waiting several more weeks before they start integrating employees back in and giving their employees plenty of time to work from home if they feel comfortable.
  • Another member in the same industry replied that their staffs are all back at work for their factories in Chonburi as well as their security guards, performing regular temperature and mask checks.
  • For their Khlong Toei and Bangkok regional sale offices, they are expecting to return on June 1 with each employee coming to the office 2-3 days per week and taking the rest of the week to work from home.
  • In addition, they are also doing a full disinfection and wiping down of the office spaces to prepare for the returning date.
  • AMCHAM Office is also planning to return on June 1 with 50% of the team taking shifts to work at the office. They’ve also installed plexiglass sheets between desks that were positioned close together to create some protection for the staffs. In addition, they’re arranging transportation to pick up staffs that were previously using public transportation to come to work.

 

Thai Chana App

  • Even though it’s worded as the Thai Chana app, it is not really an app where you can download from the App Store to your mobile phone, but rather a QR code for you to scan and take you to the website to fill in a form before entering any shop.
  • Not all the stores have it yet since there was not any mention of it being mandatory yet. Currently, only the bigger malls in Bangkok seem to be implementing it.
  • The issue with it is that there isn’t an English version of the form, so most foreigners would be clicking to approve some terms and conditions that they don’t understand
  • The survey is also only available in Thai, so people who can’t read Thai are forced to just click yes on all the checkboxes.
  • The other issue is that it takes quite a bit of time, since you must scan for both going in and out of the premise and each individual shop in the premise that you enter.

 

 

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