Friday, July 10, 2020

EEC committee planning assistance for entrepreneurs, labour hit by Covid-19

Jun 29. 2020
Kanit Sangsubhan
Kanit Sangsubhan
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By THE NATION

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee has said that measures are being planned to help entrepreneurs and labourers affected by the Covid-19 situation so as to boost the economy in the EEC areas, Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the committee, said.

“Among the measures that will be rolled out, top priority would be given to providing soft loans to SMEs [small amd medium-sized enterprises] and expanding export markets to countries that were also recovering from Covid-19, such as the CLMV group [Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam], China, Taiwan and Japan,” he said. “We will also focus on solving the unemployment problem by providing necessary career training to upskill and reskill existing labour in the EEC areas for emerging high-technology industries.”

Kanit added that the committee would support local tourism entrepreneurs in community development projects that could be integrated into tourism promotion campaigns. “For example, we would promote the building of local markets and shopping centres as well as transportation routes that would help increase tourists’ interest in visiting communities in the EEC,” he added.

“As for the relaxation of lockdown measures to allow foreign investors to enter the country, the committee has been working with Ministry of Foreign Affairs to set up flexible alternative quarantine measures and establishing alternative state quarantine facilities within the EEC to allow investors to conduct their business seamlessly while following Covid-19 prevention practices,” added Kanit. “We are also looking to partner up with private hospitals to provide quarantine and related medical services by staff who can communicate in the languages of foreign investors.”

Kittiphong Phromwong, director at the Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council, added that the office had been working with the EEC Policy Committee to provide career training for labour in EEC areas during the Covid-19 situation.

“The Ministry of Higher Education will support 95-100 per cent of registration fee for online courses under the Thailand Plus Package, which is aiming to create skilled labour for industries with high demand, such as science, engineering and technology,” he said. “Entrepreneurs who send their staff to train in these courses will also receive tax exemption at 1.5 to 2.5 times of the amount they pay.”

“In the next three to six months, the Ministry of Higher Education will hire new graduates and unemployed labour in EEC areas to work on research projects on community tourism in line with the EEC Policy Committee’s community development plan, which will also help generate income for local people who have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis,” added Kittiphong.

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