BANGKOK (Reuters) – Job losses in Thailand could reach 10 million if the coronavirus epidemic continues for a few months, a business advisory council said on Monday.
The second largest economy in Southeast Asia has been hit hard by the virus epidemic and is headed for a recession.
“We believe that 7 million jobs have already been lost, and that figure will rise to 10 million if the epidemic continues for 2-3 months,” said Kalin Sarasin, board member and head of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. after a meeting.
Thailand employs around 38 million people.
The government council and trade agencies have discussed requests for support measures before proposing them to the government, said council president Thosaporn Sirisumphand.
These include soft loans, tax breaks and financial support to keep jobs, he said.
Thailand, which has registered 2,579 cases of infection and 40 deaths, has imposed a nationwide night curfew, closing shopping centers and discouraging activities to limit the spread.
The central bank predicts that the economy will contract by 5.3% this year, which would be the weakest performance since the Asian financial crisis of 1998.
(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Mark Potter)