Industry lobbies new economic team on ease of business

Thailand’s government has appointed a new team of Ministers to guide the country’s economy through the pandemic and beyond, while a leading industry group is asking the new Ministers to lower barriers and raise ease of doing business even further.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha named Supattanapong Punmeechaow as a new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, and Predee Daochai as the new Minister of Finance last week. Before taking up the posts, Supattanapong was the President and CEO of PTT Global Chemical.

Predee, Co-President of Kasikorn Bank and Chairman of the Thai Bankers Association, replaces Uttama Savanayama as Minister of Finance.

Other new members in the cabinet include Suchart Chomklin as the new Minister of Labour and Narumon Pinysinwat as his Deputy.

They take office as Thailand’s economy faces challenges from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the government and independent economists forecasting a contraction this year. The new Ministers are confident the economy will recover.

Supant Mongkolsuthree, Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), expressed confidence in Predee, the new Finance Minister, saying that businesses will cooperate with him well in tackling the impact of the coronavirus.

At the same time, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking called on the government to establish a committee to devise policies to increase ease of doing business.

Ease of doing business is an attraction for foreign and local investments, and Thailand has already done much to facilitate business and investment. The World Bank ranked Thailand 21st out of 190 economies in its most recent ease of doing business report.

The aforementioned Committee said, however, that the country still has some rules and regulations that could be reformed to boost its ease of doing business score even higher.

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