More than 3.3 million workers have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, said the Federation of Thai Industries as it prepped short- and long-term plans to revive Thailand’s business sector.
FTI Chairman Supant Mongkholsuthree said Thursday that as many as 3.3 million industrial workers could lose their jobs or income due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus lockdown.
Of the current 37.3 million in the workforce, 47 percent in the service sector and 23 percent in the industry sector were hardest hit by the pandemic, he said.
Employees of businesses related to tourism and services were at risk of losing their jobs, said Supant.
Thailand’s economy is expected to shrink by at least 5 percent in 2020 and taking more than two years to return to pre-pandemic GDP-output levels, according to a World Bank report released earlier this month.
Post-Covid Economic Revival Plan
The FTI also laid out its post-pandemic recovery plan, focusing on both traditional industries and targeted future industries while promoting local sourcing.
Kriangkrai Tiennukul, the FTI’s vice chairman, said the post-Covid recovery plan subcommittee, which he chairs, was assigned to map out medium- (6-12 months) and long-term plans (18-24 months).
The recovery plan for 45 groups of traditional industries in 11 clusters embraces three main points, he said. The first is to promote the use of made-in-Thailand goods. The FTI proposed that the Comptroller General’s Department amend procurement regulations to support the use of domestically made products.
Secondly, the FTI underscored development of upstream to downstream supply chain. Various industries were affected by trade war last year and Covid-19 this year. They face shortage of imported raw materials due to lockdown in China.
Thailand should turn towards delocalization to source products and materials locally.
Thirdly, food and agriculture technology should be promoted, he said.
As the country benefits from its biodiversity, bio economy, agro-processing and value added agriculture will be the most suitable for Thai people in the future and it will also meet the global demand.
Six targeted future industries include digital, healthcare, medical equipment, logistics, robotics and bio economy, he added.