Many Thais to loose jobsFebruary 23rd, 2009 - 12:18 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi
Thailand to face unemployment and could worsen in the months ahead and force factory workers back to the kingdom’s rural heartlands says the Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij.
The 45-year-old Mr Korn told the jobs crisis would likely be worse than during the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis and Japan hits Thailand’s export sector hard
A decade ago the devaluation of the baht and the robust economies of key export partners allowed the kingdom to spring back from spiralling unemployment within two years, Mr Korn said. ‘It will be bad… This time we don’t have the same cushion, virtually every sector is struggling.’
‘The agricultural sector is relatively okay but it’s not in a position to significantly absorb job losses from the industrial sector. Exports are looking particularly weak,’ he said. But if factory workers lose jobs they are likely to return to the countryside, he said, which is where the two-month old government enjoys little support.
‘If they lose their manufacturing jobs the natural instinct would be for them to help out on the family plot back home,’ he said. Thailand’s majority rural poor provide the support base for the current opposition, who were ousted from power in December after months of protests culminating in a week-long seizure of Bangkok’s airports.
The 2,000 baht scheme is part of a raft of measures that make up a 116.7-billion-baht stimulus package the Thai government hopes will counter falling income from abroad.
Tags: aftermath, agricultural sector, asian financial crisis, baht, countryside, devaluation, export sector, family plot, finance minister, heartlands, industrial sector, korn, manufacturing jobs, natural instinct, protests, raft, seizure, stimulus package, thai government, thais