The current outbreak of COVID-19 that is sweeping the Thai nation is threatening to impede on the export sector, with it becoming increasingly more likely the sector will not reach its 8-10% growth target.
Vice Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Kriengkrai Thiennukul released a statement revealing that current transmission rates are affecting production capacity and will likely eventually impair plans to export goods. A few production lines have already stopped, forcing manufacturers to delay product delivery.
The original export growth target of 5-7% was raised to 8-10% this year based on the global economic recovery effort driven by the US and Chinese economies. However, the FTI fears this growth will no longer be reached due to the high levels of infection in the community as well as the current vaccine shortage.
Many manufacturers have admitted difficulties in preventing the spread of COVID-19 during the latest third wave of the pandemic, with some factories hiring laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests on their workers. However, each test is costing the companies 1,500 baht per worker, and many workers are requiring more than one test per week. As such, the FTI plans to send 50,000 rapid antigen test kits to member companies to assist them in screening workers, and in an effort to lessen the spread of the virus.
The FIT has voiced concerns that the current outbreak will last until at least December based on the high level of current community transmission, and the presence of the Delta variant. In an effort to maintain stability and effect growth in the export sector, the FTI is in current negotiations with manufacturers for the delivery of rapid antigen tests to enable companies to continue to export products from Thailand.