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Thailand’s choice of finance minister ‘inspires confidence’: banker

Oct 06. 2020
Newly appointed Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith
Newly appointed Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith
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By The Nation

The urgent task for newly appointed Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith is to tackle the impact of Covid-19 on the Thai economy, a leading banker said on Monday.

Chongrak Rattanapien, senior executive vice president of Kasikornbank, said Arkhom must seek ways to move the economy forward, solve grassroots economic problems, and push for development of state infrastructure projects.

Chongrak is confident that the appointment of Arkhom, which was announced on Monday, will inspire confidence among investors and the general public.

Arkhom succeeds Predee Daochai, who abruptly quit the post on September 2 after less than a month in office, citing health problems.

Arkhom was previously transport minister under the post-coup Prayut Chan-o-cha government.

Before that he was secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, a state think-tank which is now known as the National Economic and Social Development Council.

Housing Business Association president Atip Bijanonda said Arkhom is a good fit for the job of steering the nation’s economy.

The new minister is approachable and accessible, which would ensure smooth collaboration between the public and private sectors, he said.

Reviving the Thai economy was a daunting task, since success depended not just on domestic factors but also on conditions abroad in Thailand's major tourism and trade partners, said Atip.

He added that the property sector wants the new minister to focus on three tasks: urgently lifting the domestic economy in order to boost people’s purchasing power, accelerating investment in new state mega-projects, and opening up opportunities for all business sectors to participate in the process of economic problem solving.

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