Thailand unveils new support measures for pandemic-stricken firms
Thailand has approved new support measures worth 350 billion baht (US$11.29 billion) to support businesses affected by the pandemic.
This includes 250 billion baht (US$8.06 billion) worth of soft loans for SMEs that will help businesses access credit at below-market rate. The loans will be guaranteed by the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation, and may receive additional exemptions or reductions on relevant taxes and fees, said a joint statement by the central bank and the Finance Ministry, according to Xinhua news.
Meanwhile, under the “Asset Warehousing” programme, 100 billion baht (US$3.23 billion) will be set aside to support companies that are unable to repay their loans. This could prevent businesses like hotel operators from liquidating their distressed assets at fire sale prices or shut down operations because of their debt.
According to the Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, the programme may be operational by May.
He expects Thailand’s recovery to be uneven, with select sectors of the economy unlikely to employ the same number of people even with a return of growth to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“We’re coming toward the final stretch of COVID-19. These measures could create opportunities to as many as 60,000 businesses and support 800,000 jobs,” said Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, reports Bloomberg.