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Bank of Thailand says being on US currency “watchlist” won’t have a “material impact”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bank of Thailand says being on US currency “watchlist” won’t have a “material impact” | The Thaiger
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Thailand being added to the United States Treasury’s “watchlist” for suspected currency manipulation won’t impact foreign trade and investment too much, the Bank of Thailand says.

Now that Thailand is on the “monitoring list,” US government says it will keep “close attention” on the country’s currency practices to determine if any measures are intended to gain an unfair advantage in foreign trade. Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith says it’s “not a worry at the moment.”

“It’s still a monitoring list and we don’t know what actions they might take. In handling the baht, it should not have any impact as the central bank is taking care of it.”

The Bank of Thailand says there was no intention to use the exchange rate to gain an unfair advantage, the bank’s assistant governor Chantavarn Sucharitakul said in a statement.

“At this stage, the assessment is not expected to have a material impact on Thailand’s international trade, as well as the prospect for foreign direct investment into Thailand. Similarly, such assessment does not impede the ability of the BoT to fulfill its mandate on macroeconomic policies to safeguard domestic stability.”

SOURCE: Reuters

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    It is a simple matter,
    US imports into Thailand are often subjected to sometimes 50 percent tariffs.
    In comparison Thailand exports into the USA, have tiny tariffs.
    Thailand is not playing fair – when did they ever?
    This is just one way they manipulate the currency.
    The US should stop treating the Thailand like a third world country deserving charity, and lenient treatment.
    It was only last May that the USA was asked to lift suspension of tariff privileges for 23 item of Thai exports into the USA!
    The USA had been giving Thailand special reduced tariffs on imports into the USA!!!

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7:01 pm

      Th US is the biggest manipulator of all. It should pull its claws in and stop labelling people.

      • Avatar

        Richard

        Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:34 pm

        Yo need a tissue 5555

  2. Avatar

    gosport

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Poor and fool Uncle Sam

  3. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    There is no reason that the baht keeps getting stronger.

    How is it? This economy is on the skids…and has been for a long time.

    Someone behind the curtains is playing with the numbers…and it’s not fair. For sure.

    • Avatar

      Bill Fischer

      Friday, December 18, 2020 at 8:36 am

      Yes, the two currencies that I track against the Baht are the US dollar and the Singapore dollar. The Baht has gained strength in recent times against both! I can see the US dollar being weak because of the extremely poor handling of the Coronavirus, but the SG dollar should not be so weak against the baht.

      • Avatar

        harry1

        Friday, December 18, 2020 at 12:38 pm

        its not just the SG dollar most other currencies had little movement against the baht,yet against the weak usa dollar most other currencies are up, by up to 10%, but little movement against the baht ?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Economy

BTS skytrain maximum fare rate increasing to 158 baht despite backlash

The Thaiger

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BTS skytrain maximum fare rate increasing to 158 baht despite backlash | The Thaiger

Bangkok’s BTS skytrain maximum fare rate is being raised to 158 baht despite receiving backlash over the hike. The Transport Ministry is behind the calls for City Hall to stop the increase as it says it is too expensive for the average commuter who takes the BTS 2 times a day. Saksayam Chidchob, the Transport Minister, says other routes should be explored before increasing the costs for commuters.

“The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration should halt its policy on new BTS maximum fare and wait for other authorities to find proper solutions.”

The BMA and Transport Ministry were jointly appointed to set the fare’s ceiling in 2018, but it appears the BMA is now taking control of the new price hike. The BMA and Interior Ministry were previously responsible for granting concessions for the skytrain’s operation but the Transport Ministry is also part of the reviewing committee for extending the concessions and overall investments in the country’s mass transit system.

But deals are being made by the BMA that appear to ignore the Transport Ministry’s equal role in making decisions and the ministry says such actions are breaching co-investment laws. It isn’t the first time the BMA has made decisions without the Transport Ministry’s joint approval.

Before the new hike in fares, it previously extended concessions to the current Bangkok Mass Transit System in order to keep the fare ceiling at 65 baht. Now, making a new deal that would see passengers paying more than double in total fares across the skytrain system is being seen as pushing the envelope.

What is not clear is why the fares are being hiked when the country is suffering economically due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the new maximum is set to rollout on February 16, Bangkok’s governor has offered to bring the new maximum down to 104 for a short period of time in consideration of the recent Covid outbreak.

But even increasing the fare to 104 baht is being widely opposed. The secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution says even the discounted rate is too expensive for daily commuters. And, the date for the discount ending has not been announced.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economy

Government considering another registration round for co-payment scheme

Maya Taylor

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Government considering another registration round for co-payment scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Finance Ministery is considering adding another registration round to the Khon La Khrueng (“Let’s Go Halves”) co-payment scheme, as 1.34 million rights have not yet been taken up. The government introduced the scheme last October, in an effort to stimulate the Covid-battered economy. Under the scheme, Thai citizens get a 50% subsidy on the purchase of food, drink and general products, up to 150 baht per person per day, to a maximum of 3,000 baht for the duration of the scheme. Those who sign up need to make purchases within 14 days of their registration.

The first phase got under way on October 23 and finished on December 31, with the government setting aside 30 billion baht to cover 10 million people. The second phase began on January 1 and runs until March 31, covering an additional 5 million people. The cap has also been raised from 3,000 to 3,500 baht.

Kulaya Tantitemit from the Fiscal Policy Office says that of the combined 15 million rights, 13.66 have been taken up. The Bangkok Post reports that those who have not received subsidy rights can register for the 1.34 million that remain by the end of this month.

The Finance Ministry is also considering a third phase of the scheme, based on the success of the first 2 phases, according to Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economy

Thailand’s rich not eligible for 3,500 baht government handout

Maya Taylor

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Thailand’s rich not eligible for 3,500 baht government handout | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Thailand’s Finance Ministry has confirmed that wealthy citizens are not eligible for the government’s monthly cash handout of 3,500 baht. The Rao Chana (“We Win”) scheme consists of 2 monthly payments of 3,500 baht for those struggling with the financial fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Those with savings above a certain, unspecified threshold, will not qualify.

The ministry has not specified what this figure might be, in a bid to stop people transferring funds out of their accounts in order to fall below the required threshold. The Rao Chana scheme is aimed at farmers and the self-employed and is similar to the previous Rao Mai Thing Kan (“We Won’t Leave Anyone Behind”) scheme. That scheme consisted of 3 monthly payments of 5,000 baht and also excluded those with savings above a certain amount.

“The government spent 390 billion baht (on Rao Mai Thing Kan), but people still protested in front of the ministry after their applications to receive 5,000 baht remedial payments were rejected. A government official found that 1 protester had more than 10 million baht in his account, which is why he was not eligible.”

Kulaya Tantitemit from the Fiscal Policy Office, says screening under the new scheme will also reject government officials, employees in state enterprises, and people already in the social security net. The eligibility criteria are expected to be submitted for Cabinet approval soon, with registration for the scheme opening at the end of January and first payments made in early February.

“We want to help low-income people affected by Covid-19, so those outside the social security system such as freelancers or farmers will be eligible. But anyone with a high income will be disqualified.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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