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Do Thai businesses need to invest in disaster relief?

June 2013 | Servcorp

Two recently released reports will have given Thai businesses plenty of food for thought with regards to potential natural disaster relief.

The first, published by the United Nations (UN), warns that economic losses from natural disasters have spun out of control, and that businesses need to incorporate disaster risk management into their investment strategies to avoid further losses.

The second, published by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), insists that Bangkok has been sinking for years, with the ground continuing to subside by three centimetres every year.

Uncomfortable reading for all businesses, we're sure you'll agree, but let's look at the UN report to begin with.

While the report has investigated events around the world, the likes of the floods experienced in Thailand between 2011 and 2012 and their financial effects were evaluated in particular.

Businesses around the world would do well to heed the report's warnings that the search for lower costs and higher productivity has led to businesses maximising their exposure to potentially dangerous areas.

What any business chooses to do with its investment strategy is obviously its own decision, but particularly in areas like Thailand that are more susceptible to natural disasters, businesses would be foolhardy to assume they're safe from potential damage. To ensure continuity a business should seek a plan from a reliable service provider or the business should ensure their office solution plan has a secure and reliable IT infrastructure that wouldn't be affected by any disaster.

The second report will perhaps have raised a few more eyebrows in Thailand. Naturally, its findings will be of concern to businesses within Bangkok – particularly the insistence from experts that there are only seven to 10 years left to tackle the issue.

Obviously the report's accuracy and effect will only become obvious in time, but common sense would indicate that any business with a premises or business interests in Bangkok will want to monitor the situation closely.

If nothing else, it's certainly further food for thought with regards to the sentiments put forward by the UN.

In the world of business it can be pretty easy to become distracted by the likes of economic or productivity issues, but the fact remains that Mother Nature will always be the greatest force of all.

It's up to individual businesses how they tackle the findings of these reports, but burying their heads in the sand over them wouldn't be advisable.