With COVID-19 already devastating Thailand’s economy, experts warn that recent anti-government protests could affect the economy. The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has warned that recent protests by anti-government movements could increase the risks to Thailand economy.
Because the annual economic performance this year is now expected to shrink by 8-10 percent.
The UTCC President Thanawat Polvichai said the latest economic performance projection, at minus 8-10 percent, did not take into account recent political protests. Which could continue to affect the perception and confidence among foreigners and international investors. Even as Thailand is easing its lockdown restrictions.
He said investors may perceive that Thailand still remains in the cycle of extra-parliamentary politics. The images of anti-government protests may also deter visitors from planning trips to Thailand.
The UTCC expects the Thai economy to contract more than the initially projected 8-10 percent figure. Even more should the protest be prolonged or become violent.
Public more worried about their safety than economy
Regarding the case of a COVID-19 positive Egyptian air force officer; and a COVID-19 positive family member of a Sudanese diplomat, who have been identified outside quarantine; the UTCC president said these cases affect the confidence people have in the government’s safeguard measures to prevent another outbreak.
He said these cases present an opportunity for related agencies to improve current coronavirus measures. Also close any loopholes that may exist. This will help demonstrate to the public the government’s capacity to solve problems in a timely manner.
The UTCC also suggested the government only open the country to select groups tourists. Those with close relations to the government and foreign workers, in order to drive the economy forward.
According to a UTCC survey, the general public now gives more priority to their health and safety. Rather than to restarting the tourism sector and the economy by opening the country to tourists.
Thai Oppose Opening Thailand to Foreigners
A nationwide survey in Thailand has raveled that a vast majority of Thai people are still opposed to opening the country to foreigners. Reasoning that the global Covid-19 coronavirus situation is still very serious. The survey was carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.
The survey was conducted on July 6-8 with 1,251 Thai people aged 18 and over. They ranged in various levels of education and occupations throughout Thailand.
A majority – 55.32% – disagreed with the program. Of them, 41.41% strongly disagreed with it. Saying those admitted could be carriers and cause a second wave of the pandemic. Also Thailand has already has many Covid-19 infections imported by Thai returnees from abroad.
Another 13.91% said they disagreed because the situation does not yet warrant the entry of foreigners. Even if they have health certificates showing no Covid-19.