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Ratchaprasong entrepreneurs to discuss rehabilitation plan

Ratchaprasong entrepreneurs to discuss rehabilitation plan

Part of Central World shopping complex collapsed after arsonists set it ablaze and firefighters were unable to reach the area in a timely manner due to ongoing conflicts between UDD protesters and Thai soldiers.

Members of the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) met Thursday to begin planning ways to restore the area and its businesses after the violence and arson which erupted Wednesday.

Following the widespread vandalism and arson at Central World shopping complex, Thailand’s largest high-end shopping mall and the second largest in Southeast Asia, as well as Big C Supercenter and other properties in the Ratchaprasong area causing incalculable damage, the entrepreneurs grouping have started to prepare a plan to rehabilitate the area.

The association also is considering adjusting existing plans, including the restoration of buildings and areas at Ratchaprasong intersection as well as marketing and promotion campaigns to boost sales.

However, details of the revised plan can be clarified only after the violence ends and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) authorities clear the damaged areas.

In addition, the association has set up an RSTA Call Center 085 484 6471-3 from 9am-5.30pm for entrepreneurs wanting to register for assistance.

Currently, 50 entrepreneurs in trouble contact the call centre daily. It is expected that more entrepreneurs will take advantage of calling on the association for assistance.

Federation of Thai Industries vice chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said that although business offices in outer Bangkok could open Thursday, many companies couldn’t operate due to the loss of document systems as their Ratchaprasong headquarters were affected by arson.

Shipping and transport systems are suspended and financial institutions were directed to close on Thursday and Friday by the Bank of Thailand (BoT).

He said the damage from the violence includes asset damage and the impacts on investor confidence, the loss of life and psychological effects on many Thai people.

If the crime spree ends soon, the impact will not spread, he said.

Meanwhile, Punnachai Footrakul of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) Natural Gas Vehicle Marketing Department said that service stations last Thursday morning faced shortages of NGV, LPG, and oil products due to the huge demand in preparation for the curfews.

All PTT stations in the 13 zones banned from gas and oil transport remain closed.

He added that the Ministry of Energy discussed the situation and may propose that the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) allow the gas tankers to enter the 13 zones in the next few days. (TNA)