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Thailand Commerce minister confident of containing inflation hike


November 13, 2007

THAILAND : Inflation
Commerce minister confident of containing inflation hike

Commerce Minister Krirkkrai Jirapaet on Sunday voiced confidence that the state sector would be able to keep an inflation rate staying at no more than 3 per cent next year although global oil prices and currency exchange rates are very volatile.

He said the Commerce Ministry is in a process of estimating the overall Thai economy and the global economy based on many factors including global trade conditions, efforts to increase exports to major destinations such as the European Union and Japan in place of the United States, whose economy is experiencing difficulties, and penetration of new markets such as China and India.

Mr. Krirkkrai said he was confident the country's exports would expand no less than 12.5 per cent as targeted earlier despite the oil price hike and the currency exchange rate volatility.However, exporters of all products need to adjust themselves to many difficulties they would face in the future.

The commerce minister conceded the oil price surge and currency fluctuation had fueled transport costs and product prices. So, it is likely that the inflation rate next year would be higher than that of this year.

Should the economy next year expand 5-5.5 per cent, he said, the inflation rate next year would stay no more than 3 per cent.

He believed the state sector would manage to contain the inflation hike to ensure they are contained at no more than 3 per cent. This year, Mr. Krirkkrai noted, the state sector could maintain the inflation rate staying no more than 2.5 per cent.

The commerce minister said he also believed the new government would be stable and suggested it accelerate improving the country's structure system such as the transport system and other public utilities, and development of the education system.

Courtesy Enews

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