Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Finance, Thailand
The Thai economy shrunk by almost 10 per cent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated key sectors. According to the Bank of Thailand, the economy will not return to pre-COVID levels before the end of 2022. With recovery contingent on a rebound in tourism and exports, recurring waves of COVID-19 and delays in vaccination could also mean further setbacks for the struggling economy. At the same time, the country remains mired in ongoing political unrest, with three cabinet ministers receiving lengthy prison sentences last month relating to ongoing protests, which continue to gain momentum.
Tasked with boosting Southeast Asia’s second largest economy is Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, who was appointed Minister of Finance on 1 October 2020. With Thailand’s fiscal position remaining strong, the Minister has ramped up public spending and is expected to make further investments in infrastructure and energy projects in order to support economic growth. In February, the government announced its ambitions to attract US$10 billion in investment this year in the country’s so-called Eastern Economic Corridor.
Asia House Corporate Members will be briefed by Minister Arkhom on his plans for Thailand’s economic recovery on Monday 8 March. Speaking from Bangkok, the Minister will also outline the government’s efforts to increase investment in the year ahead, especially in the digital and green economy sectors.
Prior to being appointed Minister of Finance, Arkhom served as Minister of Transport from 2015 to 2019. He played a key role in the Thailand’s major infrastructure projects, including the completion of the mass transit system in Bangkok and the construction of the high-speed railway linking three major airports. An economist by training, Arkhom also served as Secretary-General of Thailand’s economic planning agency, the National Economic and Social Development Board, from 2010 to 2015.
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