Thailand could face increasing pressure in 2010 to shift exchange-rate policies in order to maintain competitiveness in the global market, says Kirida Bhaopichitr, senior economist for the World Bank in Bangkok.

Capital flows have been returning to emerging markets such as Thailand since the middle of the year, she said at a seminar held by the Iron and Steel Institute yesterday.

Thai Baht as steadily gained against US dollar in 2009
Thai Baht has steadily gained against US dollar in 2009

Fund flows have come into not only government bond markets to help finance public stimulus spending, but have also come in the form of foreign direct investments and equity flows.

The result of added capital flows into the Asian economies is added pressure for currencies in the region to appreciate.

At the same time, the US dollar is facing pressure owing to structural weaknesses in the US economy, and has fallen sharply against both the euro and the Japanese yen.

Asian economies have been intervening steadily in their currency markets to slow the pace of currency appreciation and prop up their export sectors.

via Exchange rate a growing concern.

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