Thailand appoints finance minister after monthlong void

  • Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha brought an end to a monthlong vacancy in the cabinet by appointing former Transport Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith to the position of finance minister.
  • Arkom, who is 64, became the transport minister in Aug 15 when Prayuth was junta chief.
  • He had played a key role in the kingdom’s major infrastructure projects, such as the construction of the high-speed railway that will link three major airports at a cost of THB225bn.
  • He left the job when Prayuth replaced the junta cabinet with the elected civilian government after the general elections in Mar 19.
  • Before his stint as transport minister, Arkom was already honing his skills as an economist. He joined the Thai government’s economic planning agency National Economic Social Development Board in 1979 after graduating from Thammasat University the previous year.
  • He subsequently received a master’s degree in development economics from Williams College in the U.S. After serving a few decades, he became secretary-general of the agency in 2010.

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