16:43 | 12/10/2015 Global Economy
Businesses in the Southeast Asian region suffer damages amounting to millions of USD as a consequence of haze pollution over the past month, according to a joint statement by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KADIN).
Choking haze blankets Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Forest fires in Indonesia lies at the root of the issue, which has adversely affected large expanses of the nation and the neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.
The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commercial and Industry (SCCCI) representing more than 40,000 companies also reported that local small- and medium-sized enterprises have posted earning losses between ten and 30 percent due to trans-border smoke.
Singaporean Kranji farm Bollywood Veggies said they have had to cancel 80 percent of outdoor events, thus some workers here are at risk of losing their jobs if the situation fails to improve. Meanwhile, Adventure Paddlers, a water sports company, saw 60 customers called off their tours resulting in a 60-percent revenue reduction in the last two week.
According to SCCCI Chairman Thomas Chua Kee Seng, his agency is calculating specific damages from its business members and seeking governmental support.
He said a careful assessment is needed for the Government to devise a long-term solution, given that the haze is not new and likely to happen again next year.
SCCCI has thus far drafted two letters to Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts, urging them to relay the business plight to their respective governments.
They also demanded Indonesia’s agricultural sector embrace sustainable practices and not burn forest./.