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THAILAND
Currency Apreciation
July 13, 2007

Baht surge short-term only
The sharp appreciation of Thailand's baht will continue only for the short run and the situation will improve within a month, according to Permanent Secretary of Commerce Karun Kittisathaporn.

He said the Commerce Ministry is not directly responsible for overseeing the value of the baht, but he believes the Bank of Thailand has closely monitored the currency movement.

Mr. Karun noted the baht had strengthened because foreign capital had flowed into Thailand's stock market in rather large amounts, but he believed the situation would last only for short while and would improve within a month.

He conceded small- and medium-size export-oriented companies might experience financial difficulties from the baht surge while large companies would need to sell products below cost.

What entrepreneurs could do now is to adjust themselves to the baht rise, he said, adding that it was unjustified to call on agencies concerned to keep the baht at 35 to the US dollar because the currency moves up and down in accordance with market mechanisms.

Mr. Karun said the ministry understood difficulties facing the entrepreneurs.
 
Commerce Minister Krirkkrai Jirapaet and senior ministry officials will meet with representatives of the Joint Private Sector Committee on ways to ease the impact from the baht rise on exporters.

He added the ministry still affirmed 20% of exporters had been adversely affected by the stronger baht while 80% had been only slightly impacted.
The ministry was confident the country's exports would grow 12.5% as targeted this year and it would not revise its export growth projection for this year. TNA

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