Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the new finance minister, said on Monday that the most urgent economic problems that he will address will be the lack of liquidity that businesses and households are experiencing right now and the dire situation faced by the tourism industry.
The minister said he would follow the policies laid down by the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) but will add new measures to help the tourism industry.
“The measures that CESA has already issued guidllines on many things, except for some industries such as the tourism sector,” Arkhom said. “Therefore, there must be measures to supports the supply chain of the tourism industry and that should begin from villagers that are suppliers to hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions that have been affected. They must all be supported.”
The minister laid down four top priorities to support and stimulate an economy badly hit by the pandemic.
These priorities include
- Measures to supports the private sector and gain it more access to liquidity.
- Measures to counter the declining domestic purchasing power such as the previous 5,000 baht cash hand-out policy to simulate domestic consumption which accounts for 50 per cent of the GDP.
- Measures to supports the tourism sector and related businesses, especially measures to add liquidity for certain group of businesses that have yet to be supported by the government.
- Measures to continue to accelerate public spending, which accounts for 20 per cent of the GDP, and government projects that are stuck within the pipeline.
The finance minister added that the ministry will also accelerate government spending on stimulus measures.
The finance minister also said that there is a need to reopen the country as it could take up to 1-2 years before the economic trajectory can go back to the pre-covid levels.
“More long-term and reopening measures are on the way as we have to gain back foreign visitors’ and tourist’s confidence.”