Former Transport Minister Named as New Economy Tsar

Arkhom Termpittayapaisith speaks at a news conference on Feb. 7, 2019.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — The Royal Thai Government Gazette on Monday has named former Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith as Thailand’s new Finance Minister, succeeding Pridi Daochai who resigned on Sept. 1 after only 20 days in the office.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha late last week submitted Arkhom’s name to His Majesty King Maha vajiralongkorn for Royal approval.

Arkhom was appointed deputy transport minister in August 2014, serving in the Prayut administration, and was promoted to transport minister a year later.

Arkhom graduated with a BA in Economics from Thammasat University and a Master’s Degree in Development and Economics from Williams College in the United States.

Thai economic experts earlier noted that whoever the new finance minister is, the Thai economy heavily hit by the COVID-19 will be a huge challenge ahead.

Thailand’s central bank in late September forecasted a 7.8 percent GDP drop in the Thai economy and maintained its interest rate at 0.50.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) said it expected that the Thai GDP would slowly recover and take at least two years to return to its pre-COVID level late last year.