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Pattaya Daily News

26 October 2011 :: 10:10:49 am 59466

Tokyo to support Japanese firms hit by Thai floods

TOKYO, October 25, 2011 - Japan on Tuesday announced plans to help its companies hit by Thailand's worst flooding in decades, as supply disruptions force firms to close plants and production at home is hit.
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As concerns rise about the impact of the flooding on companies’ recovery from Japan’s March earthquake — already complicated by a soaring yen and a slowing global economy — Tokyo unveiled programmes to aid flood-hit firms.

The steps will focus on providing short-term funding to Japanese companies and their Thai affiliates amid concerns over the disruption caused by the disasters.

The trade and industry ministry said Tuesday it would expand loan guarantees and trade insurance programmes to help Japanese firms deal with the impact of production problems caused by floods that have left hundreds dead and dealt a heavy blow to Thailand’s economy.

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) also said Tuesday it will collaborate with the Bank of Thailand in providing emergency liquidity in Thai baht to affected companies.

“One aim of this measure is to facilitate the funding of financial institutions operating in Thailand including Japanese banks, which provide financial services to firms, including Japanese firms operating in the flood-affected areas of Thailand,” the BoJ said in a statement.

It added that details would be made public “in due course”.

While the two central banks have yet to finalise the details, Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul told Dow Jones Newswires that the programme is expected to take effect in a week or two.

Thailand is a hub for Japanese manufacturers using relatively cheap labour to assemble products aimed at markets such as China and India.

Supply disruptions and direct flood damage have hit the production of Japan’s biggest companies.

Canon on Tuesday cited the impact of the floods as it lowered its annual profit forecast from an earlier estimate, with the company forced to shift some ink jet printer production to Vietnam.

Sony has said it will postpone the launch of new headphone and camera products after the flooding halted production at its manufacturing base in Ayutthaya and its contracted plants and parts suppliers in the country.

Toyota, which has temporarily shut its Thailand plants because of supply constraints, said Tuesday it was also feeling the impact at home and has reduced domestic production by about 10 percent due to a lack of supplies.

Toyota has stopped overtime work at all of its factories in Japan for at least for five days through Friday, which will cut its domestic output by about 6,000 units, or 1,200 per day, spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto said in Tokyo.

Honda Motor also said it had suspended production of motorcycles in Bangkok’s Ladkrabang area from Tuesday until at least Saturday.

“The factory producing motorcycles remains intact from the flood, but parts supplies have been disrupted,” said Honda spokeswoman Tomoko Takemori.

The suspension in motorcycle output came after Honda’s car assembly factory in Ayutthaya was paralysed by the flooding.

“The plant in Ayutthaya has been submerged, and we don’t know when it can resume operations,” she said.

Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, warned Saturday the kingdom could endure six more weeks of flooding, telling anxious Bangkok residents to be ready for water up to a metre (three feet) deep in the capital.

Reporter : AFP   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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