Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thai Chamber urges Govt to protect Bangkok at any cost

The Nation October 27, 2011 3:08 am
Thai Chamber urges Govt to protect Bangkok at any cost

The Thai Chamber of Commerce yesterday urged the government to do its utmost to protect Bangkok, give accurate and up-to-date information, and forge closer cooperation with private sector to manage the logistics system and ensure minimum impact on the economy.

The chamber also urged the government to ensure adequate supply of essential goods.

After a meeting with the chamber's working committee for managing the impact of the flooding, chairman Phongsak Assakul said the TCC would make four proposals to the government to accelerate relief and minimise the impact after flood water spreads to Bangkok.

First, the government should protect the capital as much as possible and urgently relieve the impact from the flooding, as Bangkok is not only a centre of trading, but also a travelling and logistics and distribution centre to other provinces nationwide. The government should urgently release water from internal to external areas as soon as possible, otherwise business transactions and foreign-investor confidence will be severely hit.

Second, it called on the government to continue giving accurate information to the public so that they can put together plans to save their homes and businesses in time. An official website should be launched, providing information in Thai and English, for the public and foreign traders and visitors.

Third, the government should forge closer cooperation with private enterprises and facilitate shipping of goods, as many factories that have not flooded are facing difficulties in distributing their goods.

Last, the TCC and the provincial chambers have set up their own information centre to give information to businesspeople nationwide so that they can operate with efficiency, and access government information.

The proposals will be discussed with Commerce Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong soon, Phongsak said.

In addition, during a separate meeting between Kittiratt and the Federation of Thai Industries at Government House, the minister reaffirmed that the government would continue to provide relief measures for affected enterprises, after announcing a Bt15-billion soft-loan package to help flooded industrial estates.

FTI chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol said the government should continue to provide soft loans to private enterprises

The Industrial Estates Association said it planned to resume operation of the plants in the estates within 45 days after the water recedes lower than the clay barriers.

The water level in many industrial estates in Ayutthaya has been gradually dropping. Rojana Industrial Estate is preparing to borrow Bt1.9 billion from the government to make repairs soon.
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