City campaigns eye street vendors
Loans, low-rent areas among pledges made
City governor candidates have turned their campaigns to street vendors, vowing to expand their trading areas and help improve their business prospects.
Independent candidate Chadchart Sittipunt toured Huai Khwang district on Tuesday where he met roadside vendors and food hawkers.
Mr Chadchart said the vendors play a vital role as they connect to the grassroots economy and provide a source of affordable food for the city's residents.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) should assist them in obtaining loans and designating permanent areas for trade, he said, adding the rent for such areas should be kept low.
For effective regulation, vendors must be registered with the BMA to gain access to the low-rent vending space, he added.
They should also be shown how to bring their trade to online platforms to widen their business opportunities, the candidate suggested.
Another independent candidate, Aswin Kwanmuang, stressed the need to empower communities so they can manage small-scale trade in own their areas, including street vending.
Members of the communities should come together and take care of their own affairs, he said. They should be able to talk among themselves as to what businesses should take place and where.
Traders can then discuss vending issues with fellow residents who are appointed community administrators, he said.
Pol Gen Aswin, who quit the Bangkok governor post last week to seek a second term, said local people know best about the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in the places where they live.
After taking his campaign to markets across the 50 constituencies, Suchatvee Suwansawat, the Democrat Party's candidate, said the underlying need was to stimulate local spending so it can generate a stable income for the "little people".
His manifesto includes expanding permanent vending spaces, adopting the identity of a specific market as a selling point for vendors, allowing vending zones to open every day, getting the BMA to publicise the markets and promote e-commerce by offering free high-speed internet access to the vendors so they can organise online shops.
Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, candidate of the Move Forward Party, also visited vendors in Pomprap Sattruphai district on Tuesday.
He said traders at Talad Saphan Khao market complained of faulty water drainage along the pavements and unfair allocation of trading spaces.