Businesses in Thailand urge relaxing lockdown to stem job losses hinh anh 1Visitors return to Yaowarat after the government eases lockdown measures. (Photo:

Bangkok (VNA) -
The private sector in Thailand is calling on the government to continue easing its lockdown measures to allow other businesses, particularly those related to tourism and supply chains, to restart to curb escalating unemployment.

Thanavath Phonvichai, President of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), said the latest survey on business sentiment nationwide has found operators most desire an easing of lockdown measures by the government as soon as possible to prevent any further business interruption.

Tourism and supply chains are the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in lower employment, said Thanavath.

Consumer purchasing power has dwindled. The UTCC expects the number of unemployed will decrease if businesses are allowed to reopen this month.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking predicted last month about 7 million workers will be out of job by June because of shutdowns from the pandemic, with most of the layoffs being low-paid workers.

An estimated 4.2 million retail and shopping mall workers would lose their jobs, along with 1 million construction workers, 978,000 hotel workers, 250,000 restaurant workers, 200,000 spa and massage workers and 200,000 garment factory workers.

Thailand’s labour market employs about 38 million workers.

According to Thanavath, the business sector also calls on the government to come up with relief measures for affected businesses that have to temporarily cease  operation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures include relaxing lending conditions to small and medium-sized enterprises and access to new loans to ease their liquidity and retain their employment.

Thailand began the first phase of the lockdown easing on May 3, although the ordinance on emergencies and the night curfew order are still valid until late May. The second phase of the four-phase process is expected to start on May 17 if the number of new COVID-19 cases does not increase./.