Thailand’s new prime minister tells Parliament his government will urgently tackle economic woes

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has vowed to act quickly to relieve the country’s economic problems in his inaugural speech to Parliament. His speech Monday followed four months of political uncertainty while parliamentarians were unable to agree on a government. Srettha’s government is facing high expectations and pressing demands to address a range of economic, political, social and environmental problems in its four-year term. Thailand’s economy slumped after the COVID-19 pandemic. Srettha said public debt rose to more than 60% of GDP in 2023, while household debt spiked to over 90% of the GDP this year. He vowed to quickly take measures to relieve debt problems, mitigate rising energy costs and boost tourism, without going into detail.