New center for pandemic recovery established

Thailand’s new team of economic ministers has established a coordinating body to guide and promote recovery from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic with the goals of stimulating consumption, investment and reducing unemployment.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will chair the Economic Situation Administration Center. Its 22 committees will include the four newly appointed economic ministers along with the Governor of the Bank of Thailand, the Secretary-General of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), and the heads of leading private sector organizations, among others.

The range and depth of the committee members represent a strong degree of cooperation and coordination by government and the private sector in steering the economy towards recovery and better times.

Thailand has done a sterling job on containing the Covid-19 virus from a public health perspective as the government has strived to contain and reverse some negative economic effects. Analysts forecast a challenging economic contraction worldwide this year.

“The pandemic has taken a toll on a number of sectors, not only exports and tourism, the two major contributors to the economy, but also domestic employment and small and medium-sized enterprises,” Prime Minister Prayut said

To aid in the recovery, the Fiscal Policy Office has proposed a $24.2 billion budget for this and next year. Lavaron Sangsnit, Director-General of the Fiscal Policy Office, Ministry of Finance, said that part of the funds would be held in reserve in case a second wave of the virus hits the Kingdom.

“The new economic team can opt to use the funds for devising new projects or economic measures to manage the economy or allocate the amount to existing projects,” he said.

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