Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered authorities to immediately stabilize the baht value and control its rise. He also ordered the Finance Ministry to form a new committee for the task.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said Gen Prayut made the order as baht appreciation was affecting exporters. Many groups of operators in exports and tourism has pressured the PM over the soaring baht.
There will not be any order for a particular direction of the baht value, Mr Uttama said. That is the responsibility of the Bank of Thailand. The new committee idea will be proposed to a meeting of economic ministers. It will be a forum for organizations to exchange information,” he said.
The Finance Ministry will form the baht stabilization committee together with the Bank of Thailand; the National Economic and Social Development Council; the Office of the Insurance Commission; and the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The Finance Ministry also plans to set up another committee to implement national strategies. Concerning small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and the grassroots economy. Furthermore so that the strategies would significantly boost the economy.
Central Bank Trying to Curb Baht
Thailand is trying to coax the baht down from six-year high territory as the currency’s strength threatens local manufacturing and tourism.
The central bank has cut interest rates and eased capital controls to rein in emerging Asia’s best-performing currency this year.
It is an ironic twist for a country that became the epicenter of the 1997 Asian financial crisis after its currency collapsed. Thailand now finds that its relatively sound fundamentals have made it a safe haven for capital in Southeast Asia.
The bank cut its benchmark one-day repurchase rate to 1.25%, tying an all-time low, while also making it easier to take funds out of the country.