BANGKOK, 23 January 2014 Issara Wongkusonkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, admitted that the 7 private sector agencies have ceased their role as mediators between the conflicting parties, originally aimed at facilitating country reform. Mr. Issara said the reason was the lack of response from both sides of the conflict.
Mr. Issara said the ceasing of the role was, however, temporary. The private agencies would instead pour their efforts into helping small and medium enterprises being hard-hit by the political situation. Regarding the enforcement of the Emergency Executive Decree, Mr. Issara said the private sector realized this would afflict the country’s image in the eyes of investors. Although effects would likely be felt first by the tourism sector, investments would also slow down as a long-term effect. According to Mr. Issara, businesses in Bangkok have been suffering losses of between 500-700 million baht per day from the political situation. Some layoffs have already come about in the service sector. Consumer spending has also decreased, and the number of tourists has dropped by as much as 30%.