Employment key to reopening economy
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has instructed ministry departments to devise measures to tackle unemployment and propel the economic recovery in preparation for a full reopening of Thailand’s economy.
“Businesses without money cannot hire people, therefore one of the measures to tackle unemployment is to maintain existing employment. The government can support these businesses by offering training programmes,” said Mr Arkhom.
For deliberation of a full reopening of Thailand’s economy, the main subject is reopening the tourism sector, followed by the reopening of public and private investments, including government infrastructure development projects in the pipeline, such as the Eastern Economic Corridor, he said.
The government lifted all business and activity lockdowns on July 1, which gradually came into place since late March to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Tourism has been the hardest hit sector since the pandemic emerged.
Thailand, which saw a record 39.8 million tourist arrivals last year, has recorded zero foreign visitors since April when a travel ban was imposed.
Mr Arkhom said investments could come in two forms: actual investments from investors and those from tourists.
“Foreign travellers that stay in Thailand for 1-3 months might see the country’s attractiveness and have a desire to invest,” he said.
“We talked about medical tourism in the past and now we are discussing investment tourism.”
Regarding investment incentives, the issue has to be discussed with several agencies, but the objective is aimed at offering general investment incentives and lures for large corporations to create a value chain in Thailand, said Mr Arkhom.
Regarding the expiration of the Bank of Thailand’s first-phase debt relief measures on Oct 22, it is up to the central bank to decide whether to extend the assistance scheme, he said.