The new Thai government led by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, sworn in by King Maha Vajiralongkorn in Bangkok on September 5, delivered its policy statement to parliament on September 11. In the policy statement, Prime Minister Thavisin detailed the main political, social and economic challenges facing Thailand, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disturbed the country in the past three years.
The new coalition government is made up of 11 parties. Prime Minister Thavisin, whose Pheu Thai party leads the coalition, and 33 cabinet ministers pledged their loyalty to the monarchy during the ceremony at the Dusit Palace. In his policy statement in the parliament, the leader noted that 30.9% of the country’s GDP remains concentrated in the industrial sector and within limited clusters of products, while exports have contracted for three consecutive quarters and continue to do so. More than 30 million Thais are in the agricultural sector, but their overall revenue accounts for just 7% of GDP.
Srettha Thavisin, a 61-year-old US-educated billionaire and former president of luxury property developer Sansiri, said that his administration will focus on addressing people’s needs. During the first weekend of his tenure, the leader, who is also the country’s finance minister, travelled to northeastern provinces of Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Nongkhai to meet communities and find out more about their problems.