King Power trumpets B1.4bn of social projects

King Power trumpets B1.4bn of social projects

Duty-free retail giant King Power has answered Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's invitation to join the government in easing Covid-19 pandemic-induced hardship with a plan to inject up to 1.4 billion baht into the economy.

King Power yesterday outlined the social development work it had carried out before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and proposed new projects to support people's livelihoods. It has also come up with some recommendations for the government on how to get the economy back on its feet.

According to King Power, the company has implemented projects worth 1.31 billion baht, mostly in 2017-2019, targeting youth development, career development, public health and community economies.

It will spend 749 million baht to keep those projects running during 2020-2022 and will allocate another 719.5 million baht to fund new projects focusing on supporting ailing community economies and boosting tourism once the country opens for business again.

Also on the cards is a plan to bolster the tourism sector through its Premier League club, Leicester City, under an estimated budget of 622 million baht.

The team jersey for the 2020-2021 season will advertise Thailand as a tourist destination and the club's King Power Stadium will also promote the country to fans.

The company's revenues were hit by a sharp decrease in flights in and out of the country but says it has no plans to lay off any of its 12,000 employees. It has promoted a work-from-home policy to slow the spread of the virus and urged staff to earn extra income through e-commerce via its website.

The company said it has donated more than 45 million baht via the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute and Police General Hospital.

It said it will also submit ideas to the government to help revive the tourism industry. Those recommendations will range from mobile "Super Application" development to promote tourism for Thai and foreign visitors to the development of hassle-free e-visas on arrival and better airport slot management systems at airports.

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