Ongoing flood has caused economic losses of over Bt400bln so far: Thai Chamber of Commerce

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BANGKOK, Oct 23 – Initial damages from the flood crisis on the Thai economy are likely to exceed 400 billion baht, excluding successive impacts and chain of effects to providing goods and service to customers, said Pornsil Patchritanakul, Deputy Secretary-General of the Board of Trade of Thailand.

If flooding hits Bangkok’s business areas, the damage could climb another 120 billion baht per month, as the capital’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about one trillion baht each year.

Mr Pornsil said he wanted to see the government manage the flood problem systematically and build investors’ confidence by pledging a future safe from flooding.

Meanwhile, Mr Payungsak Chartsutipol, Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said the initial damage on the industrial sector, after seven large industrial estates were submerged, was about 300-400 billion baht and the hardest hit industries were auto and auto parts, electrical appliance and electronics.

Losses from a trading halt of automobile and electrical appliance businesses and other businesses were about 100 billion baht per month. The damages also depend on how long flood will last.

The FTI planned to meet entrepreneurs from flood-hit industrial estates, the Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO and Japanese Chamber of Commerce on Oct 26 to discuss assistance in draining the flood water from industrial estates after the flood level was stable. The FTI will also set up a team to oversee integrated rehabilitation.

Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, FTI’s honorary chairman of the Automotive Industry Club said the current flood has more impact on the Thai auto industry than with the tsunami in Japan in March when auto production dropped by 30 per cent.

The ongoing flood has forced the auto industry to suspend production for about two weeks so far and auto production will likely be halted for further one and a half month, which could cause production loss of 70,000-80,000 units or about 50 billion baht in total.