Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for June 17

Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for June 17

Cabinet Resolutions

  • The Thai Prime Minister has agreed to lift the night curfew and allowed businesses to resume operations, while the State of Emergency still remains.
  • However, all entertainment venues and massage parlors are still to remain closed.
  • CCSA has canceled plans for the 3-day Songkran holiday in July and compensated it with one day holiday per month for 3 months instead.
  • The government has warned that there has been an increase of cases reporting fake websites using similar names to the Thai Chana platform, requesting users to download a mobile app and possibly leaking their personal information.
  • Travel bubbles between selected countries with low coronavirus risk has been approved by the CCSA in an attempt to stimulate tourism that can restart the Thai economy.
  • Thailand is ranked 2nd in the global covid-19 recovery index, just behind Australia and followed by Denmark and Hong Kong.

 

Returning to the Office

  • A member in the banking industry stated that currently around 50% of their workforce are working from home, following to Thai government’s recommendation. However, they are expecting to begin a gradual return in the next few weeks and are actively discussing to figure out the safest way to get back.
  • The new surge in Beijing and Korea has made it clear that the only certain solution is when an effective vaccine is found, but for the meantime, firms should focus attention on their operational flexibility.
  • So that should there be a second wave, they would have the ability to react quickly and efficiently such as sending only the workers in certain affected areas back home and not the whole company again.
  • It is becoming quite obvious that the global economy cannot afford another month-long lockdown as it will lead to unbearable economic pains for both the government and the private sector.
  • Another AMCHAM member who is currently stuck outside of Thailand spoke that as they already have a valid Thai Work Permit, they are positioning for the borders to open up and international travel to restart.
  • Their company is also taking a very conservative approach to the re-opening of their office since their operations have not suffered at all over the last 3 months. As one of the main players in the gas and oil industry in Thailand, they are a vital source of power for the kingdom.
  • Currently, they’re averaging around 12-25% of employees coming to work in the office but are looking to slowly increase the numbers on that.

 

In-Person Events

  • A member expressed that he is comfortable with attending in-person events as long as they have set clear hygiene protocols, a limit of the number of participants and suitable activities on the agenda.
  • Some American companies are basing it off the situation in the U.S., thus if the situation there does not improve, the restrictions would still be in place for their overseas branches.
  • Another member tried to attend the live broadcast of a recent in-person event hosted by a fellow chamber but voiced that it didn’t really work out and they had a hard time even hearing the speakers in the event.

 

Business Readiness

  • A member commented that this outbreak has really brought to light the fact that firms should always be ready to adapt the way they work, not just around hardware but software as well.
  • For instance, moving your systems off the physical server in the office into a cloud-based solution, which would easily enable the whole team to work remotely.

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