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Commerce ministry, private sector to join for remedial flood measures to help businesses

Sep 17. 2019
Weerasak Wangsuphakijkosol
Weerasak Wangsuphakijkosol
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By The Nation

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With flash floods damaging villagers’ property in the Northeast, the deputy Commerce minister, Weerasak Wangsuphakijkosol, has told his department of business development to find remedial measures to help affected retailers and businesses.

Weerasak said the department would look to partner with private companies to help affecting businesses, especially in the most heavily flooded provinces of Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon, Roi Et and Si Sa Ket.

They will also cooperate with the Thai Wholesale and Retail Trade Association, Thai Home Builders Association, and large wholesale centres to help small retail shops. Retailers have a close relationship with the locals, with the shop acting as a goods distributing centre for the local area – and that is an important part of stimulating the grassroots economy, the minister said.

There are separate business and retail remedial measures for flood victims that have been agreed between

Government agencies and the private sector have agreed on a series of remedial measures for flood victims, divided between measures for businesses and measures for retailers.

The remedial measures for businesses are:

• The Commerce Ministry will cooperate with financial institutes to support and increase business liquidity through partner banks through measures such as lenient payment terms, a reduced interest payment rate, extended instalment period, suspended interest payments for 3-6 months, and a special interest payment rate for restoring the business’

• Use the MOC Biz Club, a Thai business network organisation founded by the government, to support business rehabilitation, ask its member to donate food and supplies to flood victims, and prepare the new RD 43 rice variety to distribute to farmers who have faced floods and later buy all the future harvested rice.

The remedial measures for retailers are:

• The Department of Business Development, along with a partner company such as Siam Macro, will recruit staff to provide support in the flood area;

• The Thai Home Builders Association will help in restoring flooded shops at a low price or for free;

• The ministry will negotiate with the supplier to extend the 30-45 day payment period to 75-90 days.

According to the report, as of April 30, 2019 there were 169,133 retail shops in 20 provinces in the Northeast provinces. Ubon Ratchathani had 16,914 shops (10 per cent of the total retail stores in the region), Yasothon and Amnat Charoen had 3,814 stores (2.26 per cent), Roi Et had 9,539 stores (5.64 per cent ) and there were 9,147 stores in Si Sa Ket (5.41 per cent)

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