Strong nerves and creative strategies have characterised the best-performing finance ministers over the past 12 months. Here The Banker recognises those whose will and skill have proved outstanding at tackling the immediate effects of the slump while positioning their countries for future growth.
Finance Minister of the Year, Global and Asia-PacificKorn Chatikavanij, Thailand
A former JPMorgan banker, Korn Chatikavanij, Thailand's recently appointed finance minister, only entered the political fray in 2005, ascending to the role of Thailand's finance minister in December 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.
Against a backdrop of ongoing domestic political upheaval, Mr Chatikavanij has safely steered the Thai economy through the worst of the global financial crisis by rolling out a range of vigorous fiscal stimulus measures, amounting to more than $61.2bn, as well as boosting long-term government spending on infrastructure projects.
Despite its robust fiscal response to the crisis, however, Mr Chatikavanij's ministry has succeeded in containing the budget deficit at a forecast 4.6% for 2009, with a projected rapid decline in the deficit starting in 2011. While gross domestic product for 2009 has contracted by about 3.5%, it is due to bounce back, reaching a solid 3.7% growth for 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund.