Prominent private business sectors in Thailand showed support to the government’s plan to accelerate the reopening of the country to revive the domestic economy after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha announced the policy to open the country within 120 days, or around mid to late October 2021, earlier this week.
Sanan Angubolkul, Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC), told reporters that the “Phuket Sandbox” opening on July 1st will internationally acknowledge that Thailand can control the Covid-19 outbreak on the island. The success of Phuket Sandbox will be adapted to other tourist destinations in the following step.
If the country reopens in 120 days and more than 300,000 foreign tourists travel to Thailand during that time, about 1 million tourists will visit Thailand with spending of 50,000 baht per person per trip. Therefore, revenue from foreign tourists will increase by at least Bt50 billion in the fourth quarter, and GDP is up to 0.3 percent this year from a previous lower estimate, according to the TCC estimation.
Kriengkrai Thiennukul, Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), commended the government’s announcement to reopening the country and said it would affect the overall economy this year in terms of better growth and would generate significant economic recovery and income in the billions of baht, especially during the high tourism season in November and December.
Auttapol Rerkpiboon, President and Chief Executive Officer of PTT Public Company Limited, stated that the reopening of the country at this time would generate more economic momentum, especially in the tourism sector.
“If the country can welcome foreign tourists as planned, it will allow tourism to expand during the fourth quarter, which is the high season of Thai tourism, as well as to drive domestic consumption in line with the expansion of tourism,” Auttapol added.
Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of WHA Corporation PCL, addressed that the faster the country reopens, the better the country’s investment because many foreign investors are waiting to enter Thailand to observe their land, set up factories, negotiate business, and purchase new operations. The reopening would also make an improvement in terms of the foreign investments this year. However, the government must manage the procedure well and must speed up vaccination to prevent the spread and build confidence among incoming foreigners.
Tassapon Bijleveld, Executive Chairman of Asia Aviation Public Company Limited (Air Asia), agreed with the policy but stressed that the government has to speed up the vaccine inoculation to completely create group immunity within two months before opening the border to allow the vaccinated foreigners to visit wider areas of the country.
Minor International Public Company Limited also issued a statement by Chairman William Ellwood Heinecke, stating that this country’s reopening policy showed the Prime Minister’s willingness to plan for the country’s future and was reasonable and prudent of the government sector. The plan will receive full support from the private sector and the general public whose businesses have been affected by the Covid-19 Coronavirus.
The statement read: “It is now a reality that everyone has to face and may have to live with this pandemic, now likely an epidemic, indefinitely. This is the right time for us to open up the country to accelerate the recovery of the Thai economy.”
TPN media wrote a detailed editorial earlier today of the mixed reactions to the plan to open the country, with business and tourism sectors cheering the move while doctors and some opposition politicians expressed concern.
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