World News

Thai king approves new finance minister to tackle economy amid pandemic

Thailand Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith speaks during an interview with Reuters in Bangkok, Thailand, June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Panu Wongcha-um

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s king has approved Arkhom Termpittayapaisith as the country’s new finance minister, the official Royal Gazette said, handing him the task of steering Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

Arkhom, 64, was a transport minister in the government put in place after a 2014 coup, and was former head of the state planning agency, where he worked for more than three decades.

He replaces banker Predee Daochai, who unexpectedly quit on Sept. 1 after only a few weeks in the job.

Arkhom holds a master’s degree in Development Economics from Williams College in the United States. He has also served on several national committees, including the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee and the Board of Investment.

Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Ed Davies