The Bank of Thailand (BoT) will hold a meeting with major economic-related private organizations to discuss impacts of, and solutions to, the rising Baht to help Thai exporters.
BoT Governor Mr. Prasarn Trairatvirakul said the BoT will invite representatives from the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries to a meeting to find ways to relieve exporters from higher cost of production.
Mr. Prasarn said exporters have been bearing the brunt of the strengthened Baht as their incomes have been lower. The baht’s appreciation is also making importers of Thai products reluctant to buy anything from the Kingdom as prices have gone up.
The BoT Governor said the reason for the rapid rise of Thai Baht was due to the influx of foreign capital being invested on short term bonds. However, he said there was no sign of external efforts to attack the Thai Baht.
The Governor added that the BoT already has effective measures in store to protect the Baht against unusual attacks. According to him, approximately 2 billion US dollars worth of foreign capital poured into the country during the past two weeks, resulting in the baht appreciation of 3%.
Looking at the appreciation since late 2012, the Baht is now 5-6% stronger. Mr. Prasarn further stated that the increase in the value of Thai Baht is still lower than other currencies in this region such as the South Korean Won which rose by 9% and the Philippine peso by 7%.
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) today called on the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to take action in cooling down the fluctuating and strengthening Thai currency which has severely hurt the private sector.
Jen Namchaisiri and Wallop Witnakorn, FTI vice presidents, said the private sector has felt the pinch from the rapidly appreciating baht – its strongest in the last 17 months.
The BoT should intervene if necessary while the Finance Ministry should speed up investment projects in infrastructure and rail systems, and importing arms and ammunition, they said. They urged the government to support the private sector in their overseas investment by increasing the outflow cash limits.
BoT Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said earlier that the Thai currency has appreciated by 3 per cent since the beginning of this year and 5-6 per cent since last year, and that the baht movement has been in tandem with regional currencies.
The BoT and FTI are scheduled to meet early next week to thrash out the private sector’s concern on the appreciating Thai baht. (MCOT online news)
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