Japanese firms ask for traveller quota

Japanese firms ask for traveller quota

People tread Shibuya crossing in Tokyo on Monday. The FTI is forwarding a request for 100 Japanese business travellers per day be allowed in the country. AFP
People tread Shibuya crossing in Tokyo on Monday. The FTI is forwarding a request for 100 Japanese business travellers per day be allowed in the country. AFP

Japanese investors and companies are requesting the Thai government reopen the country to 100 Japanese business travellers per day, as they are eager to return here to make new investments and fill executive-level vacancies.

"Japanese companies want to know when authorities will allow foreigners to travel to Thailand because they want to resume business expansion and investment," Montri Mahaplerkpong, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said on Monday.

The companies recently made their request through the FTI after the government eased the business shutdown in May.

They are ready to follow the government's 14-day quarantine measure, but ask the government to help find a large hotel with 300 rooms to accommodate them, he said.

"The companies are willing to pay for expenses during their stay," Mr Montri said.

The Japanese companies are confident in the Thai public health system as Thailand is among countries that have controlled the spread of the virus effectively, the FTI said.

Thailand was ranked sixth out of 195 countries for health security, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University.

The FTI has recently discussed allowing business travellers entry with the Public Health Ministry and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

"The government should let them in because many companies are waiting on high-level executives to make important decisions," Mr Montri said.

FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said the government needs new measures to drive the domestic economy forward as its relief package, including the 5,000-baht handout for informal workers, lasts only for three months.

"Businesses should be able to survive by themselves in the future," he said.

"If the government is concerned about a new round of outbreak brought in by businesspersons, it should tighten health measures to prevent infections."

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