Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for July 15

Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for June 15

Cabinet Resolutions

  • Prime Minister General Prayut has apologized to the public yesterday and ordered Thai authorities to review privileges given to foreign diplomats and family members as well as military delegations after an Egyptian soldier and the daughter of a Sudanese diplomat tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • All flights from overseas including military aircrafts will now have to follow strict screening measures and undergo a 14-day quarantine at an isolated facility approved by the government.
  • Thailand is starting the clinical stage of its own Covid-19 vaccine after tests on monkeys and mice generated satisfactory antibodies against the virus. Human testing is expected to start in September and available to the public next year if all goes well.
  • The Ministry of Industry stated that despite economic fallout from Covid-19, data suggests an unexpected increase in employee demands in the first half of 2020 due to business expansion and the opening of new factories.

 

Returning to Thailand

  • An AMCHAM Governor advises that no matter how one might return, everyone is subjected to the 14-day quarantine upon their arrival.
  • Currently, the cabinet has announced that they will allow 15,400 experts and 700 businesspeople into Thailand.
  • An AMCHAM member with family members stuck outside of Thailand voiced that if they were to return, having them stuck in a small hotel room for 14 days is unnecessary when they already have apartments and houses to self-quarantine.
  • From what we have detected from the Thai government, we may not be seeing international flights until September. The incident from earlier this week proves that we still haven’t sorted out how to deal with foreign visitors.
  • However, living in a bubble and closing all borders until whenever the virus disappears might be worse than guardedly opening the gates and starting to find new ways to deal with it since we’ve seen a few highly developed countries successfully doing that without experiencing second waves.
  • It is also good to note that a select few AMCHAM members are offering state-approved quarantine facilities and insurance policies which are required to enter Thailand.

 

Back to the Office

  • AMCHAM is planning to fully return to their office in August, but they are not planning any in-person events on their calendar yet. The next discussion to decide the return of in-person events will be made in 3 weeks during the AMCHAM Board of Governors meeting.
  • There is the general consensus that the pandemic will not really end, and our lives will not fully return to normal until there is a vaccine available in the market.
  • Fortunately, there is news that there is a vaccine, being a collaboration between Thailand and Indonesia to be produced by Indonesian state pharmaceutical companies. Besides that, another one is coming out of the UK and will be going to human trails in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

Tourism Stimulus

  • After the Rayong incident, a majority of the people planning to travel to Koh Samet have canceled their bookings so the hotels there are sending out new ads on special rates to compensate for the high loss in bookings, but businesses seem to be running as usual.
  • AMCHAM members are requesting for the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority or any regional authorities with the power to decide these measures to make their announcements with clarity while also giving enough time for businesses to react.

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