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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   13 November 2013  

Central bank backs down on currency

After proposing publicly to ban people from giving foreign currency as gifts, the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) reversed its position, writing that the practice was "reasonable" in a draft decree on Foreign Exchange Ordinance released last week.

"As provisions of the Foreign Exchange Ordinance allow individuals with foreign currencies to deposit and receive principal and interest in foreign currencies, the use of foreign currencies as gifts is reasonable," the central bank wrote.

In late October, SBV announced a draft decree to replace Decree 160, which guides the implementation of the Foreign Exchange Ordinance. Among its contents, the ban attracted by far the most public attention.

While the drafting committee intended the prohibition to prevent dollarisation, people feared it would interfere with local customs. Vietnamese have a tradition of gifting foreign money during the Lunar New Year, believing that US$2 bills and other foreign currency bring good luck.

Experts also warned that the ban would affect the legal flow of foreign remittances. A past regulation banning people from receiving remittances in foreign currency saw the proliferation of illegal remittances.

The proposed decree will be submitted to the Government, and, if approved, will supersede Decree 160.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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