February 17, 2021 at Rachawadee Resort and Hotel – Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University presided over the opening ceremony of the Personnel Training Project during the Covid-19 situation of Khon Kaen. The meeting was organized by the Faculty of Economics, Khon Kaen University. At the opening session, Prof. Dr. Kalapaphruek Phewthongngam, Dean of the Faculty and Mr. Khemchat Somjaiwong, Honorary President of Khon Kaen Chamber of Commerce made a reporting speech. The participants at the training comprised entrepreneurs in the tourism, hotel and taxi industries. Guest speakers included Dr. Pongpan Satthathip from the Faculty of Business Administration and Accountancy, whose talk was on Building Impression among Customers and Excellent Service, and English language for taxi entrepreneurs; an officer from the Northeast Office of the Bank of Thailand, who gave a talk on Solving Financial Problem for Personal Loan Cases and Car Finance; an officer from Khon Kaen Office of Land Transportation talked on Regulations and Guidelines for Taxi Drivers; and an officer from Thailand Tourism Authority on Tourism Spots and Hot Hit Places in Khon Kaen.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University said that he was honored as a representative of Khon Kaen Universty, that has taken the role in assisting, restoring, and stimulating the economy of the business sector of Khon Kaen under the spread of Covid-19, which has brought a lot of impact on the lives of Khon Kaen people. Dr. Noraongchai Akrasanee, Chairman of Khon Kaen University has had the thought to assist the community through the work of different faculties and organizations in KKU. The assistance is to be carried out for entrepreneurs under the budget allocated for arranging useful activities during February and March. In addition, there have been other activities that assist Khon Kaen people. For example, Srinagarind Hospital, the front-line screening place that provides health care to patients, also has the measure to take care of KKU students, such as providing scholarships, supporting online learning, increasing employment positions, allowing instalment payment of tuition fee, etc. In terms of health service, Srinagarind Hospital applies technologies to follow up the treatment, including the Tele-health or the use of information technology through the telecommunication system, the use of high-speed internet to provide health care service among the people living far away from hospitals or clinics. People can now receive service at their home, especially if they do not want to leave their home during the pandemic.
Prof. Dr. Kalapaphruek Phewthongngam, Dean of the Faculty of Economy said that the training to increase the competency of personnel during the spread of Covid-19 in Khon Kaen was aimed at stimulating economy among hotels in Khon Kaen and strengthening personnel in the tourism and hotel businesses. There were 15 hotels joining. Khon Kaen University sees the importance of the impacts from Covid-19 on entrepreneurs, and tourism and hotel entrepreneurs are mostly affected. Therefore, the Faculty of Economy organized this event, which has brought some revenue to the hotel where it was organized.
In addition, Prof. Dr. Kalapaphruek expressed her opinion as an economist about the economic recovery under the spread of Covid-19. “During the first pandemic, we can see that the economic structure was not in a severe situation in Thailand. The business sector temporarily had the employees stop working and wait for the better situation. After the lockdown, people began to come out and spend their money. Tourism started to improve. But the new pandemic has made many businesses fall. The mostly affected businesses this time include tourism industry, from taxi business, restaurants, hotels, to conference venues. If the situation ends or we receive the vaccine, the severity may recover, but if it is long, the impact will be widened and affect employment and a lot of businesses. Those receiving impact from being unemployed, however, are assisted by the government. These people may hold a supplementary occupation such as delivering food, selling food, selling goods online. We can see that under this situation, everyone must help each other in order to survive and successfully undergo the Covid-19 crisis.”
Mr. Khemchat Somjaiwong, Honorary President of Khon Kaen Chamber of Commerce talked about the impact from the spread of Covid-19 on Khon Kaen economy. The impact arising to the entrepreneurs of hotels, conference venues of Khon Kaen is really hard. Assistance from the government is less than last time. Many businesses have reduced their working hours to 50%. In one month, their employees are working only 15 days, and of course, with 50% less of the payment. These employees have to earn a special amount of income from riding to deliver food or being construction workers. “In this respect, I must thank Khon Kaen University for the assistance and for stimulating the economy by arranging a meeting and seminar. Those who manufacture raw materials or foods can benefit from the event. If there is no assistance, I think many businesses may have to close down in March this year. I would say that in Khon Kaen, there is still the purchasing power from the local people and the governmental sector, which still has the budget. If possible, I would like the government sector to use the budget by organizing workshops and seminars just like Khon Kaen University. We, as entrepreneurs, can only economize on the use of electricity and tap water, or by increasing working efficiency. While we are free from work at the moment, we must improve our work places, service skills and come up with differences.”
Written by: Chutinan Panjarung
Photos: Chaicharn Lada