Foreign business community disapproves of work boycott

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BANGKOK, Nov 13 – Foreign investors in Thailand object to work stoppages as part of a civil disobedience and anti-government movement, a senior Cabinet member said today.

Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said foreign chambers of commerce in Thailand employing eight million people expressed concern that prolonged protests and a work boycott would jeopardise their business in the country.

Mr Kittiratt met with members of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFCCT) in Thailand today to discuss the present political situation.

He said foreign chambers of commerce have asked the Thai government to continue negotiation for free trade agreements (FTA) with Europe and India after a five-year recess.

They asked for the government’s visa leniency to foreign executives working in Thailand for 5-10 consecutive years – a practice adopted in several countries to facilitate foreign investment, he said.

Regarding a proposal by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Thailand to scrap its rice subsidies, Mr Kittiratt said the government is willing to listen to all parties and it has continuously adjusted its measures on agricultural produce.

However, he called on the IMF to thoroughly study details of each country before making its recommendations and insisted that the government has carefully handled its economic policy.

Stanley Kang, chairman of JFCCT, urged employees to work as usual, but said they are free to join political demonstrations after working hours

He said foreign investors are confident in Thailand and they have mapped out mid-term and long-term investment plans. (MCOT online news)