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PM appoints panel to speed up trade, investment

Jan 21. 2020
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha
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By THE NATION

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has appointed a committee to accelerate trade and investment.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said on Tuesday (January 21) that a cabinet meeting in Narathiwat province acknowledged the PM's order to appoint the committee.

The Cabinet also gave the green light to a Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) recapitalisation of Bt20 billion over five years. 

Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said the PM-appointed committee would accelerate public sector investment this year and the next.

The committee will be chaired by Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak. The finance minister is to be vice chairman.

The committee members will comprise economic ministers, including ministers of Finance, Commerce, Energy, Industry, and Digital Economy and Society, as well as deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs Kobsak Pootrakool, the permanent secretaries of the Foreign and Commerce ministries, and the Board of Investment secretary-general.

Also among the committee are the Budget Bureau director, the National Economic and Social Development Council secretary-general and deputy secretary-general, the State Enterprise Policy Office director, the Trade Negotiations Department director-general, and the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee secretary-general. 

The committee is tasked with accelerating state enterprise investment this year and in 2021 to meet schedules. 

It will determine the guidelines for international trade negotiations and investment promotion and joint investment, and is to draw up monetary and fiscal policies and related urgent action plans and propose them to the cabinet.

The committee, which will also invite companies to jointly invest with the state sector in mega projects, will report progress and obstacles of its tasks to the premier on a regular basis.

The BAAC’s recapitalisation of Bt20 billion will raise the bank’s capital to Bt80 billion. 

Somkid recently said the higher capital will enable the BAAC to become a key mechanism of the government in bringing sustainable development to rural areas. 

The financial injection will come from the Specialised Financial Institutions Development Fund.

The Cabinet also approved in principle an urgent investment plan of Bt18.68 billion in the special economic zone in Songkhla’s Chana district.

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