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Interview

Bangkok governor battles floods, red tape to attract investment

Chadchart Sittipunt says ambitions still local despite calls to aim higher

Newly elected Bangkok Gov. Chadchart Sittipunt prays at a shrine inside Bangkok Metropolitan City Hall on June 1.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- On a rainy Wednesday in August, Bangkok Gov. Chadchart Sittipunt woke up at 4 a.m. for his daily run. Sukhumvit Road was still quiet and devoid of its usual congestion, but a fellow early riser heckled the governor on his plan to remove the city's sidewalk vendors.

Chadchart, a civil engineer by training, sees it as a problem of supply and demand. Bangkok would be unrecognizable without the food stalls that provide cheap eats for workers and tourists. But space is a limited resource, and the governor has proposed designating certain alleys for vendors and creating more hawker centers.

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