THAILAND'S TARRIN VISITS WASHINGTON

Thailand's Finance Minister, His Excellency Tairin Nimmanahaeminda. will lead a delegation to Washington next week for the World Bank IMF annual meetings. On Wednesday, 10/7, Minister Tarrin and the distinguished members of his delegation will address an audience of over one hundred from the business and political communities of Washington and New York on the topic of the "Thai Model" of economic restructuring crafted under his leadership and that of Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. The 10/7 seminar, co-hosted by the U.S.-Thailand Business Council (USTBC) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), is intended as a forum for Minister Tarrin to discuss his government's reform program which has generated much international attention and debate, and has been praised by the International Monetary Fund for its timely and effective responsiveness in light of the ongoing global economic crisis.


Among the measures taken by Thailand under the stewardship of Minister Tarrin and possible seminar discussion topics are: stabilization of the currency (the baht); passage of several politically-contentious financial decrees; revision of business malpractice regulations; passage of a new, more progressive Foreign Investment Law; administration of the Financial Sector Restructuring Authority (FRA)--which will handle the world's largest auction of seized assets from failed finance companies; and last-month's introduction of a comprehensive banking sector reform plan. In addition, Minister Tarrin has spearheaded the successful completion of the first five stages of the IMF aid review process and has been invited to succeed former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim as chairman of the key World Bank Development Committee.

Prior to becoming Finance Minister in the Chuan Administration last November, Minister Tarrin held the post of Finance Minister in the first Chuan government (1992-95). He ended an eight-year tenure as president and chief executive officer of one of Thailand's top-five banks, Siam Commercial Bank PCL, to join the Cabinet in 1992. Minister Tarrin has been elected twice as a Member of Parliament representing Bangkok, last re-elected in 11/1997. He received a BA degree in government from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Minister Tarrin will be accompanied to the Washington by a delegation reflecting many years of financial expertise including: Deputy Finance Minister Pisit Leeahtam; M.R. Chatu-mongol Sonakul, Central Bank Governor; Supachai Phisitvanich, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Finance (MOF); Amaret Sila-on, chairman of the Financial Sector Restructuring Authority (FRA); Suparut Kawatkul, director-general to the MOF's think-tank, the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO); Nophadol Bhandhugravi, senior expert for capital markets at the FPO; Somchai Sujjapongse, acting director of FPO's Economic Restructuring Policy Division, Chularat Suteethorn, chief of FPO's Multilateral Financial Institution Section; and Chakkrit Parapuntakul, head of FPO's Debt-Capital Markets.



For more information, contact Felisa Neuringer Klubes at the SAIS Public Affairs Office at 202.663.5626 or
fklubes@jhu.edu.

Date: 
Wednesday, September 23, 1998
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Felisa Neuringer Klubes
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(202) 663.5626