FTI hammers out   job creation path

FTI hammers out   job creation path

Private and public firms to join effort

A chain restaurant offers free meals to those left jobless by the coronavirus pandemic. The FTI has announced an initiative to curb unemployment this year. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
A chain restaurant offers free meals to those left jobless by the coronavirus pandemic. The FTI has announced an initiative to curb unemployment this year. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is in talks with private and state-owned companies to devise ways to create jobs as the pandemic threatens to leave millions of workers unemployed this year.

The FTI is asking CP Group, SCG, PTT and other heavy hitters to join the campaign, hoping to stimulate weak purchasing power and drive the national economy forward.

Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said he plans to propose the idea to the government so that officials will launch measures to support participating companies.

"We'll cooperate with the Labour Ministry and companies to help workers get jobs through quick-win projects," he said, stressing that Thailand needs solutions that promise immediate benefits.

The FTI earlier predicted that the pandemic would cost 7-8 million workers their jobs in 2020.

The economy is unlikely to fully recover in the second half of the year because the government's stimulus packages will take time to revitalise the economy.

The employment proposal could help, but it needs support from the government to gain cooperation from companies through incentive programmes like tax exemptions, Mr Supant said.

The FTI reported yesterday that the Thailand Industrial Sentiment Index (TISI) rose in July for the third straight month, to 82.5 points from 80 in June.

The scoring is based on the latest survey of 1,211 entrepreneurs in 45 industries who were asked to express their view of the economic situation.

Among the factors contributing to the rise in the TISI was the gradual recovery of the manufacturing sector after the government eased lockdown measures, allowing businesses to reopen.

Increasing demand for electric appliances, electronic devices, clothes and construction materials also helped raise business confidence.

Many businesses have organised promotional activities to stimulate domestic spending through events such as mid-year sales and motor shows.

Most respondents (51.8%) raised concerns over the impact of political conflicts on the economy, while 38% were worried about fuel prices, followed by 22% who saw loan interest as the most troubling issue.

The FTI wants the government to continue relief measures, including the debt moratorium and reduction of monthly contributions to the Social Security Fund, in order to enhance business liquidity.


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