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Ayutthaya submerged, Thailand’s automotive production stalled

The worst bout of flooding to hit Thailand in decades is wreaking havoc on automotive production in the kingdom, among the many businesses and livelihoods that have been affected.

Boris Sullivan

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The Factory Land Industrial Estate in Ayutthayas Wang Noi district, the last factory in Ayutthaya which had earlier survived flooding, has finally succumbed to flood Sunday.

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The worst bout of flooding to hit Thailand in decades is wreaking havoc on automotive production in the kingdom, among the many businesses and livelihoods that have been affected.

A large number of automotive-related companies have fallen victim to the recent bout of flooding, which has inudated huge swathes of the country. Among these are Honda Automobile Thailand, which has been forced to half production at its Ayutthaya plant due to this; the plant remained flooded as of yesterday, and was unapproachable.

Currently, all five industrial estates in Ayutthaya are under water, including four industrial estates – Saha Rattana Nakhon, Bang Pa-in, Rojana, and Hi-Tech – earlier hit by flooding. All five industrial estates are valued at about 200 billion baht in total investment capital and employ more than 200,000 workers.

 

Ayutthaya flooded  industrial estates

All five industrial estates are valued at about 200 billion baht in total investment capital and employ more than 200,000 workers. Picture: MCOT News Thailand

Meanwhile, the National Flood Relief Centre is still confident that Navanakhon Industrial Estate in Pathum Thani can be spared from flooding.Soldiers and workers at the Navanakhon Industrial Estate have hurried to fill sandbags to fortify flood walls in the northern and eastern part of the industrial estate with another 50 centimetre height in order to protect 200 plants from flooding. The Navanakhon Industrial Estate has been threatened by flood coming from the Bang Pa-in Industrial Estate, located nine kilometers away.

via All five industrial estates of Ayutthaya submerged.

The halt in production for Honda and Toyota is another setback for the automakers. Both companies are still recovering from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan which destroyed auto parts suppliers and plants all over Japan. The earthquake and tsunami also affected car production around the world, since Japan exports important auto parts and supplies to many automakers.

Toyota has three plants in Thailand, concentrated in the eastern region. These have not been subjected to the flooding and immensely high water which has engulfed Southeast Asia. However, due to parts shortages the plants cannot continue vehicle production.

In 2010 these plants produced around 630,000 vehicles, making popular and well known Toyota vehicles such as the Camry and Corolla. Production in Thailand accounts for more than 8 percent of Toyota’s worldwide production, which was an amazing 7.6 million vehicles.

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National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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