Thai business leaders demand action after airports closure

THAI logistics operators and business leaders are demanding that the new incoming government should provide “remedies” for the estimated US$60 million (£40 million) lost due to protesters blockade of Bangkok’s two airports.

The damage estimated by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) includes losses suffered to the tourism, industrial, transport, aviation and export sectors.

“The business sector has been significantly hurt by the crisis. The first thing needed from the new government is remedies to cover the impact and losses caused by the incident,” said Tanit Sorat, an Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) vice-chairman.

Mr Tanit also said the airport closure threatened to undermine the country’s ambition of becoming a regional logistics hub. International companies’ have lost of confidence in Thailand to be a stable south-east Asian hub but to what degree cannot be calculated at the moment. Estimates suggest tourism alone could halve in 2009 and some transporters are already avoiding returning to the country.

Mr Tanit called for a plan to renew Thailand’s reputation as regional logistic hub for foreign freighters.

“The government must also set up a crisis management unit,” he said.

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