Agro tycoon weighs in on post-Covid recovery
Tycoon Dhanin Chearavanont is urging the government to speed up its coronavirus recovery efforts in four areas to ensure that Thailand survives and thrives as soon as the pandemic is over.
The senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, the kingdom's largest food and agriculture conglomerate, likened the pandemic's economic impact to that of a new world war during an interview with journalist Suthichai Yoon on Facebook Live on Monday.
Mr Dhanin firstly urged the government to come up with additional Covid-19 relief measures to help people impacted by the ongoing outbreak.
He said that his company, as a private party, can only help some people through its projects, such as the one assisting small- and medium-sized restaurants put together 2 million meal boxes to be given away to the public.
This project helps the restaurants -- also badly impacted by the government's control measures -- by promoting their catering services through the meal boxes that contain their names and contact numbers, he said.
Second, he said, the government should aim to inoculate everyone in the country and make all different brands of vaccine available.
Asked if CP is involved in the government's Covid-19 vaccine procurement plan as alleged by some people, Mr Dhanin insisted the company has nothing to do with the state's efforts to import Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses.
The company itself relies on 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine imported by the Chulabhorn Royal Academy, he said.
"I myself have been injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been injected in most people in Britain, where figures of patients severely [affected] by the disease and deaths are low," he said.
Although a cousin holds 15% of the company that produces the Sinovac vaccine, that person has no authority to decide on any requests from Thailand to buy the vaccine, he said.
Third, the government should improve public access to telemedicine services as many Covid-19 patients are recovering at home, he said.
Lastly, the government should act now to lure international investors to return to Thailand before its neighbours, or else the kingdom will be left behind, he said.
CP is growing green chiretta -- a herb believed effective in the treatment of Covid-19 patients -- on a 100-rai area to produce 30 million tablets to be distributed for free in 100 days, he said.