Thailand names new Finance Minister

Captains of industry and academics praised the appointment last week of Arkhom Termpittayapaisith as the Kingdom’s new Finance Minister, saying they believe his wealth of public and private-sector experience gives him the tools to guide Thailand out of the pandemic-induced recession.

“The main tasks for the new Finance Minister under this economic condition are how to develop new innovations to offset the impact of the crisis and enhance Thailand’s competitiveness going forward,” said Dr. Somjai Phagaphasvivat, Associate Professor at Thammasat University, one of the leading universities in Thailand.

Arkhom, 64, is a former Minister of Transport. In that position, he played a major role in formulating and implementing policies related to the Kingdom’s massive infrastructure upgrade, which is ongoing.

Before that, in 2010, he served as the Secretary-General of the National Economic Social Development Board (NESDB), Thailand’s key agency on planning and formulation of national development strategies. He joined the agency in 1979 after graduating from Thammasat University and subsequently obtained a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Williams College in the United States.

As Finance Minister, Arkhom’s immediate priorities are beefing up financial liquidity to assist businesses that make up around 70 percent of the GDP; boosting consumer purchasing power as domestic consumption contributes up to 50 percent of the GDP; tourism business assistance through the entire supply chain; and expediting fiscal budget disbursement to enhance the flow of money in the economic system.

Thailand has had one of the world’s most successful public health responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, and now it is time to curb the country’s economic contraction caused by the global spread.

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