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Thailand: New advisors expected to boost govt image

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Thailand: New advisors expected to boost govt image
Thai business executives believe the government’s new economic team will help boost the image of the government due to the major reshuffle on Saturday, reported the Thai News Agency (TNA) on Sunday.

TNA quoted chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, Santi Vilassakdanont, as saying that the appointment by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of a five-member economic advisory team which includes former finance minister Virabongsa Ramangkura would at least boost the image of the government because of Virabongsa’s expertise on the macroeconomy.

However, Santi said, private business executives are concerned whether the advice to be given by the advisory team will really be heard by the economy-related ministers, adding that the prime minister must give considerable power to the advisers.

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The economic advisers must speedup solving problems including the rising cost of living, helping small- and medium-sized enterprises to survive and be able to expand their operations, and using imported oil more efficiently, he said.

As many believe the current government will be short-lived, it should also quickly invest in mega-projects and disbursing budget to help boost the economy, Santi said.

Meanwhile, Pornsil Patchrintanakul, deputy secretary-general of Thailand’s Board of Trade, said he is confident that that new economic advisory team can help solve economic problems but he still worried if the group could work as a team with government officials.

International trade practices must go in the same direction, he said, adding that the industry and commerce ministries must also help and see that production and exports go hand in hand.

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