Businessmen, academics support Gen Prayuth as new PM

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Businessmen as well as academics on Thursday threw their full support behind Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and army chief, for his election as Thailand’s 29th prime minister, saying his appointment could create stability in the country and restore investor confidence.

Permanent Secretary for Finance Rungson Sriworasat said that it was better to wait to see who would be appointed economic-related ministers in the new government.

If knowledgeable persons are appointed to the posts, they could help drive the country’s economy forward and simultaneously restore investor confidence, he said.

Wallop Wittanakorn, Federation of Thai Industries vice president, said the private sector wants the new prime minister to solve corruption problems and to provide assistance to small- and medium-sized enterprises by putting their concerns onom the national agenda.

Political problems in the past slowed investment in the country, said Mr Wallop, adding that reform plans drawn by the NCPO could move the country forward within a year from now.

Pornsil Patchrintanakul, Chamber of Commerce vice chairman, said Gen Prayuth’s election as the new prime minister is considered the “most appropriate” for the current political situation in the country.

He said the most urgent problem needing to be solved during the second half of this year is to help the economy recover by pushing exports, stimulating private investment and boosting consumer confidence.

Aat Pisanwanich, director of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Center for International Trade Studies, said the NCPO had successfully solved political, economic and social problems in the past three months and the new prime minister who is also the leader of NCPO is expected to solve all the forthcoming problems.

However, Mr Aat said Gen Prayuth should stay as prime minister more than one year because he would not be able to solve every problem within this short of period.