Governor Talk - Thailand, Navigating the Post-COVID-19 Recovery: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for Emerging Markets

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Moderator

Kenneth Kang

Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department , IMF

 

Kenneth Kang is a Deputy Director in the Asia & Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund, covering countries in Northeast Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Mongolia. Previously, he worked on a range of countries, including Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and the euro area and served as the IMF’s Resident Representative in Korea during 2003–06. He has a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and a B.S. from Yale University.

Speakers

Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput

Governor of the Bank of Thailand

 

Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput is the 24th Governor of the Bank of Thailand and board member for the National Economic and Social Development Council, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Insurance Commission.

Sethaput has extensive experience in economics, policy and financial markets. He has held senior positions with the Siam Commercial Bank group; the Stock Exchange of Thailand; and the Ministry of Finance, and has served on the Board of Directors at PTT Exploration and Production, Osotspa, TMB Bank, and the Bank of Thailand, where he was also on the Monetary Policy Committee.

Prior to returning to Thailand, he was with the World Bank in Washington, DC and McKinsey & Co. in New York. Sethaput received his BA with highest honors from Swarthmore College and his M. Phil and Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Report

Key Points:

  • Focus. COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for emerging economies, and many are facing global spillovers, limited policy space, and other domestic vulnerabilities. The Talk focused on the experience of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) in addressing the crisis, including the use of unconventional monetary policies, the appropriate policy mix, coordination between monetary and fiscal policy, and how digitalization is being leveraged for a post-pandemic world.
  • Conclusion. Recovery of the Thai economy has been slow and uneven, particularly for contact-intensive economies, necessitating a targeted approach. BoT has ensured accommodative financial conditions and supported SMEs through credit guarantees schemes and soft loans. Digitalization has been instrumental in helping to address longstanding structural weaknesses, facilitating COVID-19 support measures, and enhancing access to financial services. BoT is also leveraging digitalization to improve cross-border payments and is developing proof of concept on a central bank digital currency.

Quotes:

We feel that fiscal policy should take center stage. That's not to say that monetary policy does not have a role. We do what we can to ensure that monetary policy and financial conditions overall remain accommodative and supportive of the recovery.” Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput

Using digital technology has improved inclusion, access to financial services and facilitated government transfer policy.” Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput

Monetary policy is not alone and it's very important to have the appropriate policy mix and not to overburden any single policy instrument in tackling this crisis.Kenneth Henry Kang

Contributor: Mentor Mehmedi

 

Photos