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Housing association urges govt to allow it to hire more foreign workers
THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2023
The Home Builder Association is calling on the government to make it easier for its members to hire construction workers from neighbouring countries, saying they are already facing a labour shortage and demand for houses is rising.
Association president Olarn Chanphu said on Thursday that the house construction business began recovering late last year and that it was expected to expand 6% this year to 13.25 billion baht.
It can take a few months to sign contracts to hire foreign workers and the slow process can disrupt the construction business, Olarn said.
“We would like the government to be lenient by allowing us to hire foreign workers before the contract signing process is completed,” he said.
More workers are needed since Thailand fully reopened following the Covid-19 pandemic, Olarn added.
He called on the government to approve recruitment of construction labourers from more countries beyond Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Specifically, the government should approve the import of labourers from Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh, he said.
Olarn also said members of his association would not raise home prices for now because they had yet to deplete their stocks of construction materials.
Once their stocks are depleted, association members might raise their prices by 5% or more, depending on market prices of construction materials, he added.
Regarding the association’s proposal that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) approve house construction applications online, Olarn said that Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt supports the proposal because it will streamline the process and reduce the risk of corruption.
The BMA will hold a seminar on January 25 to explain the request for online applications to build houses.
Olarn said he had been informed that the online application process would be limited to houses with no more than three floors that used no more than 300 square meters of space.
Association secretary-general Kosol Kowisut said a housing fair will be held in Muang Thong Thani’s Impact Hall from March 8 to 12.