Corona: ‘Bedrijven sterk uit crisis’

Corona: ‘Bedrijven sterk uit crisis’

Echte Nederlandse en Vlaamse ondernemers in Thailand overleven niet alleen de Corona-crisis, mogelijk komen ze er ook sterker uit.

Dat zegt Jos Campman van Typisch Thailand in een interview voor het blad Commerce van de Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce  (NTCC). Hij concludeert dat na de eerste serie gesprekken onder de kop ‘Hoe is het nou met’ met Nederlanders en Vlamingen in Thailand. Daarbij sprak hij ook diverse kleine en grote ondernemers.

Hieronder de tekst van het interview (Engels):


By Trần Xuân Nguyên

How do Dutch and Flemish entrepreneurs resist the Corona crisis in Thailand? The answer is in the series of interviews by Jos Campman on his website Typisch Thailand (Typical Thailand). The 30th episode of ‘Hoe is het nu met’ (‘How are things now with’) will be published soon. What are the first conclusions?

 ‘’It is remarkable how resilient Dutch and Flemish businesspeople are in Thailand”, says Jos Campman (62) of Typical Thailand after more than 25 episodes of the series ‘Hoe is het nou met’. 

 ‘’Right now the true entrepreneurs are showing themselves. While struggling to find solutions for the damage caused by the Corona-crisis, they find new ways and discover new opportunities. They will not only survive the crisis, but they may also even evolve stronger.”

 ‘’For Typical Thailand, I spoke with businessmen who totally depended on international tourism. They have now started a completely different business. Travel agent Jeroen Jansen, for example, now trades in fresh orange juice. And tour-bicycle entrepreneur Andre Breuer now also sells bouquets of soap flowers.’’

 ‘’My deepest respect also for entrepreneurs whose exports collapsed due to lockdowns and are now entering the local Thai market with new products. Jim Cromzigt is a good example. He used to import and export premium coffee and now he produces and sells for his own brand of local coffee in Thailand.”

Jos Campman also is impressed by Dutch and Belgium hospitality business, affected by borders shutdown and lockdown.

 ‘’Pieter van Roon from The Hangover started to import and distribute frikadellen. Mathieu Corporaal and Bart Munsters in Jomtien and Martijn Bolhoeve in Hua Hin have started organizing more activities for local guests. Maarten Groeneveld of Bangkok’s The Kitchen at Yenakart has started baking pies, which he now successfully sells in his new shop and through colleagues elsewhere in Thailand. And on deserted Phuket, Jim Ophorst still manages to standout in the competition with his Michelin-star.’’

In ‘Hoe is het nou met’ also interviews with fellow countrymen who are committed to others, now more than usual. Rob Hurenkamp and Hans van den Born of the NTCC, dealing with problems among members. And Annalies Lutjen from NVT-Pattaya, organising activities for pensioners. 

 ‘’And I definitely wanted to talk with people who attract charities. They, too, must now show all the inventiveness and entrepreneurial spirit: Sallo Polak in Chiang Mai, Friso Poldervaart in Bangkok and wildlife-man Edwin Wiek.’’

‘’The story’s of all those people together paint a good picture of our strange life right now in Thailand. Let’s hope soon this all will be history and my writings will be just chapters of a book for future reading.’’

 Typisch Thailand itself also provided charity-assistance during the lockdown. Jos Campman initiated a centrally organised money collection for food aid: ‘Help helpen in Thailand’. NTCC, Mazars and Thailand Zakelijk participated and more than 20,000 euros was collected.

 ‘’I spend quite a lot of time creating Typical Thailand on a voluntary basis and then it is good to see that such an aid initiative is well received. It shows that people have trust in Typical Thailand as a medium.’’

 Jos Campman – retired editor-in-chief and ceo in the business of newspapers, radio and TV – does not want Typical Thailand to be an open stage where everyone just shouts.

‘’The outcome would be a lot of uncontrolled, not useful information. I prefer my own judgement based on my journalistic background, interests and information from main parts of the community including the NTCC. I think I know what is going on and what kind of information is needed and liked.’’

‘’This also resulted in the section ‘Typical Thailand Tips’ with information from and for fellow countrymen about going out, new activities and special discounts. Glad the NTCC supports this initiative. It is also good to see that some entrepreneurs get to know each other through their stories on Typisch Thailand, exchange ideas and start to work together here and there.’’ 

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