|Finance Minister of Thailand|
20 December 2008 – 9 August 2011
|Prime Minister||Abhisit Vejjajiva|
|Preceded by||Suchart Thadathamrongwet|
|Succeeded by||Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala|
February 19, 1964 |
|Political party||Democrat Party|
|Alma mater||St John's College, Oxford|
|Profession||Investment banker, Politician|
Korn Chatikavanij (Thai: กรณ์ จาติกวณิช, RTGS: Kon Chatikawanit, born 19 February 1964 in London) is a Thai Democrat Party politician and former investment banker. From 2008 to 2011, he was Finance Minister under Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Korn was born in Princess Beatrice Hospital, London, England, to Mr. Kraisri (Thai: ไกรศรี) and Mrs. Rumpa Chatikavanij (née Brahmopala). His father was Commissioner of the Customs Department, Commissioner of the Revenue Department, and Director of the Fiscal Policy Office. His grandfather, Phraya Athikarnprakat (Thai: พระยาอธิกรณ์ประกาศ), was Police Commissioner and a member of the Privy Council for King Prajadhipok (Rama 7). His uncle, Kasem (Thai: เกษม) Chatikavanij, was the founder of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).
Korn attended Somtavil and Satit Pathumwan Schools in Bangkok until the 6th grade, when he attended Winchester College boarding school in England. He read politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) at St. John's College, University of Oxford and graduated with honours. While at St. John's College, he was a classmate of Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Korn worked in asset management at SG Warburg while a student and joined the firm after his graduation. He left Warburg and returned to Thailand in 1988, founding J.F. Thanakorn, a joint venture between Jardine Flemings and Finance One. JF Thakakom became the Kingdom's largest brokerage by 1995-6 and became the first Thai investment bank to manage a public takeover, as well as the first to lead manage a Euro-convertible for a Thai firm, with Korn at the helm. In 1999, JF Thanakom was sold to JP Morgan (later JP MorganChase). Korn stayed on as Senior Country Officer.
2005-2006 Thai political crisis and the 2006 coup
Korn left JP Morgan in October 2004, joined the Democrat Party to run for office, and subsequently went on to win a seat in Bangkok’s 2nd constituency (Sathorn – Yannawa) in the general elections of February 2005. After the defeat of the Democrat Party, Abhisit Vejjajiva replaced Banyat Banthadthan as Democrat Party leader. Korn was appointed Deputy Secretary General and Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Party. He became a vocal member of the opposition to the government of Thaksin Shinawatra during the 2005-2006 Thai political crisis. During the same period, Korn played a major role in examining the economic policies of Thaksin's government including the Shin Corporation Deal Scandal.
On the night of September 19, 2006, the Thaksin government was overthrown by 2006 coup. Korn expressed his opinion that he was "sad" and felt that it was "understandable for any democracy to denounce coups as a concept in general", however he felt that the coup had to be examined "within the context of the Thai political situation." Korn was reelected in the post-coup 2007 elections, but the Democrat Party remained in the Opposition after losing to the People's Power Party. During both Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat's brief terms as Prime Minister, Korn served as Shadow Finance Minister for the Democrat Party.
2008-2011 Member of Abhisit government
On December 2, 2008, the Constitutional Court dissolved the People's Power Party. Abhisit Vejjajiva was subsequently appointed as Prime Minister after a parliamentary vote. Korn was appointed Finance Minister in the Abhisit administration in December 2009.
Korn's significant achievements as Minister of Finance include: a 117-billion-baht stimulus package initiated in January 2009 and a second stimulus package(Thai: แผนปฎิบัติการไทยเข้มแข็ง), valued over 1.4 trillion baht over 2010 - 2012. Most of the funds was spent in improving infrastructure in Thailand especially in the area of irrigation and transportation, public health, education and tourism.
Korn also focused on policies that helped addressed social inequality and poverty such as pushing through the draft bill on land and building tax (property tax) in the Thai cabinet in April 2010 a part of an ambitious plan to overhaul the country’s tax structure as the first step toward achieving a balanced budget.
In January 2010, Korn was awarded "Finance Minister of the Year 2010" for both global and Asia Pacific regions by the Banker magazine of the Financial Times. The magazine complimented the Thai minister on his "financial management skills as he assumed the finance minister position of Thailand amid the economic stagnation. In addition, he was given credits for his contributions to promote and enhance financial and economic cooperation in Asean." Korn is the only Thai to have received both awards.
As then Chair of the ASEAN Finance Ministers' meetings in 2009, Korn was also credited for helping with the creation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), a regional foreign reserve pool in case of currency flow shortage.
After the Democrats were defeated in the 2011 election, Korn's term as finance minister ended and he subsequently took on the role of Shadow Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs in Abhisit Vejjajiva's shadow cabinet, he was replaced by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) economist Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala.
- Lawansiri, Pokpong (17 December 2010), Is Korn Chatikavanij’s wife a "woman of substance"?, Asian Correspondent, retrieved 19 December 2011
- ความรู้เรื่องโรคมะเร็ง สำหรับประชาชน (พิมพ์แจกในงานพระราชทานเพลิงศพ พล.ต.ท.พระยาอธิกรณประกาศ ณ เมรุวัดเทพศิรินทราวาส 9 พฤษภาคม 2498)
- About Korn
- The Australian, , 22 December 2008
- ABC, Tony Jones speaks with Korn Chatikavanij, 20 September 2006
- Keynote Speech: "Towards the Enhancement of an Open Economic Partnership" by H.E. Mr. Korn Chatikavanij, Finance Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand at 16th Nikkei International Conference on "The Future of Asia" on 21 May 2010, Tokyo, retrieved 19 December 2011
- "Anti-loan shark bank approved", The Nation, 8 December 2010, retrieved 19 December 2011
- Sullivan, Boris (8 December 2010), "Thailand Post Anti loan-shark bank to start early 2011", Thailand Business News, retrieved 19 December 2011
- "Korn awarded finance minister of the year, Global and Asia-Pacific", The Nation, 14 January 2010, retrieved 19 December 2011
- Szep, Jason (22 February 2010), In Thailand, world's top finance minister stands tall, Reuters, retrieved 19 December 2011