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Industry minister says exporters will still need help to work-around strong Thai currency

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The strong Thai baht is still a big problem for Thailand’s industries, exports and tourism, key drivers of the Thai economy. The baht’s strength has been partly driven by Thailand’s high current account surplus of US$17 billion this year, attracting investment in the currency as a ‘safe haven’.

Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit says the ministry will continue to support exporters in currency hedging and is discussing measures to promote investment and imports after a meeting with the central bank governor.

Speaking about the high baht valuation Suriya said foreign investors were ‘parking’ the baht in Thai banks and investments.

“The central bank said it has already acted on the baht’s strength, but it needs to be careful in doing so, or Thailand will be seen as a currency manipulator for trade advantage.”

The Thai baht has increased against the US dollar by 5.5% so far this year.

Yesterday Reuters reported that the Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob was still concerned about financial stability after last week’s interest rate cut.

Last week, the Bank of Thailand’s monetary policy committee unexpectedly voted 5-2 to cut the key interest rate by 1 basis-point to 1.50%.

The Thai Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said last Friday that there will be no interference in the central bank’s policies.

 

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