By Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2020

BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand’s finance minister resigned unexpectedly Tuesday after less than a month in the job, in which he was responsible for helping restore an economy slammed by the coronavirus.

The Royal Gazette said in a three-line announcement that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha had accepted the resignation of Predee Daochai. Thai media reported earlier without citing a source that Predee, 61, had resigned for health reasons, but no officials were willing to publicly comment.

Predee, who was chairman of the Thai Bankers’ Association ahead of his Cabinet appointment, had resigned his job as co-president of Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank before joining the government.

Predee’s appointment, which took effect Aug. 6, was part of the formation of a new team in the Cabinet to handle economic affairs.

Thailand’s economy has been badly shaken by the coronavirus, which has battered exports and the important tourism industry.

The Asian Development Bank forecast that Thailand’s economy will contract by 6.5% in 2020, compared to its December 2019 projection of 3.0% growth.

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