Many smaller companies in Thailand could already be out of business as they struggle with falling income, rising costs and a lack of liquidity due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, a university survey showed.
Thailand’s roughly 3 million small-and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are key drivers of its economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia.
A majority of SMEs surveyed by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce forecast the economy would grow only 1%-2% next year.
SMEs account for about 40% of gross domestic product and 15 million jobs, according to the university.
More than half of the respondents said they were fairly or highly likely to close their businesses and needed more liquidity to survive.
“Today it’s quite obvious that SMEs are just waiting to die. The Thai economy will recover slowly if there is no help for SMEs,” university president Thanavath Phonvichai told a news conference.
Smaller firms at risks of going bankrupt are mainly in the service, trade and industrial sectors, according to the survey.
The government should rush to support firms and jobs and allow a resumption of night businesses, which are worth up to 3 trillion baht, or 20% of GDP, Thanavath said.
Photo – Pedestrians walk past art sculpture at a shopping street in Bangkok, Thailand. EPA-EFE/RUNGROJ YONGRIT