Flood crisis causes Bt800 billion loss for 10,000 SMEs

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BANGKOK, Dec 8 – Thailand’s flood crisis has created an over Bt800 billion investment loss for more than 10,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in eight provinces, affecting around 660,000 workers.

Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Vice Chairman Manapon Pusomboon said the impacted entrepreneurs have plants both inside and outside flood-hit industrial estates.

The FTI has proposed rehabilitation plans to the government such as setting up of a coordination centre for integrated rehabilitation, a fund to revive the industrial sector by providing soft loans, debt-relief measures, and possibly withdrawing money from social security funds to compensate employees during the temporary business closure.

Thailand’s main businesses may be in decline in the first quarter next year, Mr Manapon said, indicating that plastics, food processing, chemicals, electric appliances, electronics and computer production may be affected due to internal and external factors which include the flood crisis, higher production costs and material prices, and debt crises in the United States and Europe respectively.

However, he said the textile, jewellery and accessories, furniture, and rubber and rubber products industries tend to continue to expand.