Thursday, January 15, 2009

FM: Thai new gov't ready to rebuild its world image

BANGKOK, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- As part of PR efforts for Thailand' s new government led by Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said on Thursday that he is confident the government is ready to rebuild the country's image in the world stage.
Kasit made the remarks in a speech "Thailand's Image in the World" as part of the Post Forum 2009, organized by Bangkok Post, Post Today and Business Radio 98.0 at a Bangkok hotel on Thursday.

Kasit emphasized that the transition between the previous government and the Abhisit-led government is democratic, peaceful and stable.

"This is the selling point," said Kasit, adding that this government has listened to all sections in the society.

Kasit said that the government will continue to follow the rule of law in order to rebuild the country's creditability in the international community.

Also, Thailand hopes that holding the forthcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN summit will provide an opportunity to rebuild the international confidence on the country.

The ASEAN summit is planned to be held in the central resort town in Hua Hin of Prachuab Khirikhan province from Feb. 27 to March 1.

As the ASEAN chairmanship, Thailand will work to enhance the role of ASEAN in the United Nations (UN) and World Trade organization (WTO), such as to contribute to the solution of the pirate issue under the UN charter and humanitarian projects, Kasit said.

Meanwhile, Kasit believes that the government's economic measures will also contribute to restoration of the international confidence on the country, amid the challenges of global economic crisis.

The forum also starred Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, who gave a speech on "Finance Policy in the Recession" to inform audience the government' readiness to boost the country's economy by taking stimulus measures.

The Thai government plans to inject the supplementary spending budget worth 115 billion baht (3.3 billion U.S. dollars) to boost the domestic economy.

The 115-billion-baht economic stimulus package covering totally 18 projects, which will be implemented in mid-March, includes a plan to allocate around 19 billion baht (540 million U.S. dollars) to finance a 2,000 baht (57 U.S. dollar) allowance to 8 million employees under the Social Security Fund and 1.4 million civil servants earning less than 14,000 baht (400 U.S. dollars) a month.

Korn said in light of the stimulus measure the government estimates that the country's GDP for 2009 will grow at least 2 percent, with the unemployed is estimated to be up to 2.5 per


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