The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing significant disruption to both the Thai and global economies, perceived as one of the most serious economic setbacks in the history. Over the course of recent months we have witnessed an extraordinary national response to the crisis. Our policy makers have delivered historic stimulus and relief packages, borders have been closed and banks and businesses have bent their efforts towards protecting lives and livelihoods.

Currently there are positive signs that the curve is flattening. However we are in this for the long-haul and with most, if not all, major policy announcements made, businesses can now turn their minds to how they will navigate this new normal.  

Grant Thornton in Thailand will constantly update relevant information including the advice to businesses to help you get through these difficult times.

While there are some industries more directly impacted by the virus – including tourism, aviation and retail – all industries are facing issues around supply chain, workforce and cash flow.

With specialists across business risk, business continuity, workforce, tax, compliance, supply chain and restructuring, we are here to help. This may be an assessment of your risk and cash flow, identifying alternative suppliers, or preparation for meetings with suppliers, banks or the related government agency to access additional support or extensions.

Keep up to date with the latest alerts

The business impacts are widespread due to the current COVID-19 situation. The Thai cabinet has thus far approved 3 phases of stimulus packages to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. The most recently announced package on 7 April 2020 is expected to inject THB 1.9 trillion that accounts for 9% of the country's GDP.

• An executive decree to borrow THB 1 trillion to boost the economy

o THB 600 billion to ease people’s plight for 6 months, to help farmers, and support public health services
o THB 400 billion plan to strengthen the community economy, and boost local infrastructure development

• An executive decree to authorise the Bank of Thailand (BOT) to issue soft loans to help businesses

o THB 500 billion of loans at a 2% interest rate to SMEs
o A 6-month debt moratorium on principal and interest for SMEs, for loans not exceeding THB 100 million

• An executive decree to set up a THB 400 billion corporate bond liquidity stabilisation fund to backstop the corporate bond market

• Enact legislation to transfer budgets worth THB 80-100 billion from ministries to finance measures to handle the COVID-19 outbreak



Previously, the Thai cabinet approved the first stimulus package on 10 March 2020 worth THB 400 billion, followed by the second package worth THB 117 billion on 24 March 2020. These measures as listed below aim to increase liquidity for businesses and individuals.

For Businesses

Phase 2:

  • Loans up to THB 3 million for SME at 3% interest rate for the first two years
  • Date for filing corporate income tax extended to August (Por Ngor Dor 50) and September (Por Ngor Dor 51)
  • Filing of other taxes for affected operators extended by three months
  • Filing of excise tax by service businesses extended by one month
  • Filing of excise tax for oil products operators extended to the 15th of the following month for the next three months
  • Exemption of import duty for products related to the prevention and treatment of Covid-19
  • Exemption of taxes and fee cuts for debt restructuring with non-financial institution creditors

Phase 1:

  • The Government Savings Bank (GSB) will provide low interest loan of THB 150 billion to financial institutions with interest of 01% per annum, and the financial institution shall provide loan to enterprises with interest rate of 2% on the first THB 20 million loan for the first 2 years
  • Deferral of payment and interest reduction for the Special Financial Institutions’ clients affected by Covid-19
  • The Social Security Office (SSO)’s measures to promote employment, including THB 30 billion in soft loans starting at 3% interest for SSO-registered entrepreneurs
  • Reduction of withholding tax rate for the withholding tax paid via electronic from 3% to 1.5% for the payment made from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 and to 2%for the payment made from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2021
  • 5-time deduction for interest for SMEs participating in low-interest loan programme and registered for the single financial account programme from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020
  • SMEs can deduct expense 3 times of the amount paid as employees’ salaries from April 2020 to July 2020 for the employees who are insured persons and receive salaries not exceeding 15,000/month
  • Acceleration of VAT refund process – for good exporters
  • The government agencies and state enterprises will reduce, defer or postpone the payment of rental, government fee, service fee or other payments for the business operators

For Individuals

Phase 2:

  • THB 5,000 a month for three months for approximately three million workers not covered by the Social Security Fund (SSF)
  • THB 10,000 emergency loan per person at 0.1% monthly interest (no collateral required)
  • THB 50,000 special loan per person at 0.35% monthly interest (collateral required)
  • State-owned pawnshops to charge a lower rate of interest i.e. 0.125% per month
  • Date for filing personal income tax extended to August 2020
  • Deductions for health insurance premiums increased to THB 25,000 from THB 15,000
  • Tax exemption on risk payments for medical workers
  • Training for income earners

Phase 1:

  • Social Security System to pay 50% of wages for the unemployed for up to 6 months
  • Reduction of Social Security Fund contribution from 5% to 4%
  • Reducing and delaying water and electricity bills as well as returning some electricity meter deposits
  • The Revenue Department will provide additional deduction equal to actual amount but not exceeding THB 200,000 for purchase of investment unit of Super Saving Fund (SSF), which places investment at least 65% in securities registered in Stock Exchange of Thailand, purchased from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020, and the purchaser shall hold the investment unit for at least 10 years.
  • The government saving bank to allocate of up to THB 30 billion to provide low interest loans to individuals



Meanwhile, taking into consideration the liquidity concerns of several businesses who have opted to redeem their bond mutual funds, the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) have announced several measures to minimize any subsequent impact on the funds’ value:

  1. Bond mutual funds: A special facility under the BOT’s aegis will provide liquidity for mutual funds through commercial banks.
  2. Corporate bonds: THB 70-100 billion has been earmarked by the Thai Bankers’ Association, the Government Savings Bank, Thai insurance providers, and the Government Pension Fund.
  3. Government bonds: Matters will continue as usual with the BOT providing liquidity to the government bond market through bond purchasing.

Source: BOT Joint Statement with the MOF and SEC

On 20 May 2020, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the BOT announced its decision to further cut the policy rate from 0.75% to 0.5%. This follows the second cut from 1% to 0.75% announced on 20 March and the first cut from 1.25% to 1% announced on 5 February 2020. The MPC expect this to reduce the interest burden on borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to alleviate liquidity strain in the financial markets.

Source: BOT Press Release

We anticipate there will be following measures if the impact continues and will add to this as more information becomes available.

Business continuity plans and crisis management

The current situation continues to evolve and businesses will need to remain agile and alert. A good starting point on creating a response to COVID-19 is the World Health Organisation’s technical guidance and the Department of Disease Control which has released guidelines on how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Some areas to consider include:

Your people

  • Have measures been put in place to support good hygiene and health for your people, including restrictions to international travel, advice on attending client meetings, site visits and events?
  • Do you have a clearly communicated policy on what your people should do if they are feeling unwell – including seeking medical attention and isolation? What will this mean for colleagues and clients if you suspect a case of COVID-19?

Review your customers and suppliers

  • Do you need to inform your clients and customers of any changes to your services? This could include different opening times, delays in deliveries or deadlines.
  • Do you have plans in place to ensure regular and clear communications to clients about your policies and updates on changes to service?
  • With international travel and export impacted by COVID-19, have you assessed the strength of your supply chain and do you have alternatives in place if you need to source another provider?
  • Which customers will need extended terms from you and which suppliers might require different arrangements? Liaise with your suppliers to determine how they can support you.

Cash flow and financing

  • Any changes or delays in service can have an impact on cash flow. Do you need to have discussions with clients or suppliers about renegotiating terms?
  • Your banker will be invaluable in helping you over the next couple of months. Plan early if you are going to need additional funding to get restarted. Make sure your banker is across your plans and understands where you are going.

Check your insurance cover

  • Re-assessing insurance coverage – businesses may have insurance coverage to protect certain assets, however, they should ensure they are covered for the business interruption expenses that natural disasters can cause.

Stakeholder management

  • During these difficult periods, proactive stakeholder management becomes extremely important, in particular with financiers, shareholders, customers and employees. Communicate with these groups early and often!

Get advice and look after yourself and your people

  • In addition to ensuring the health and safety of yourself and your people, we strongly encourage you to speak to your advisors about how your business can respond to COVID-19.

Business continuity plans and crisis management

The current situation continues to evolve and businesses will need to remain agile and alert. A good starting point on creating a response to COVID-19 is the World Health Organisation’s technical guidance and the Department of Disease Control which has released the risk assessment on how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


COVID-19 Business Checklist

The questions in this checklist are designed to help businesses develop their response plan for COVID-19. This type of planning is critical and often doesn’t feel urgent until it is. If don’t have one already, this checklist can help you start to build a disaster response plan for your organisation to use now and in the future.

Download Thai version [ 171 kb ]

As always, we are here to support you in times of difficulty. With a multidisciplinary network of specialists, there are many ways we can assist you now and into the future.