05/28/2020, 15.28
THAILAND
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COVID-19 threatens at least 8.4 million jobs

The pandemic could wipe out millions of jobs, primarily in tourism (2.5 million out of 3.9). Also, at risk are manufacturing (25 per cent) and the services sector (43 per cent). Only the food and electronics sectors are spared. Koh Lan island is set to reopen for tourism on 1 June.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – At least 8.4 million people in Thailand could lose their job because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Tourism is one of the hardest hit sectors of Thailand’s economy, but the emergency triggered by COVID-19 and the measures taken by the authorities to counter it have affected the entire economy.

The National Economic and Social Development Council today reported that the fall in foreign and domestic tourists could wipe out 2.5 million jobs, or 64 per cent of a total of 3.9 million workers employed in the tourist industry.

The jobs of at least 1.5 million people are at risk in manufacturing, 25 per cent of the total of 5.9 million people. In this case, the pandemic is compounding the effects of ongoing trade wars, especially between China and the United States, which are deeply shaking markets and creating uncertainty.

In recent days, Thailand saw its flagship carrier, Thai Airways International, file for bankruptcy, the first airline to do so in Asia

Outside of tourism, 4.4 million jobs, or 43 per cent of 10.3 million, could also disappear in the services sector.

Following the government’s recent decision to ease the lockdown measures, many are betting on a partial recovery. Still, Thailand’s jobless rate could hit 4 per cent this year, up from 1 per cent, similar to the level seen during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

Southeast Asia’s second largest economy is expected to shrink by up to 6 per cent. The only sectors that might not to be affected by the pandemic are food and beverage, as well as products deemed necessary, like electronics.

Meanwhile, Koh Lan Island (Pattaya), a popular tourist resort closed two months ago at the start of the pandemic, is set to reopen next Monday, 1 June, for tourists. On 1 May, restrictions were eased, allowing residents, but not tourists, to come and go.

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