Business leaders concerned over baht appreciation

Economy December 06, 2017 16:32

By The Nation

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking on Wednesday called on the government to address an appreciation in the value of the baht and expressed concerns about its negative impact on exports.

The committee said the baht rose to Bt32. 55 per dollar during late-November, its highest level in 31 months and a 9.7 per cent rise since the end of last year. 

“Looking forward, the rising baht could hurt competitiveness of exporters,” the committee said. 

The baht appreciation, it added, stemmed from uncertainty caused by US tax reforms and short-term capital flows into the Kingdom. 

The government should address the issue of short-term capital inflows, the committee suggested, while small and medium-sized businesses should buy insurance to hedge against the currency appreciation. 

The committee, however, still expected exports to expand 9 per cent this year from the 6.5-7.5 per cent projected previously. 

The economy, it said, could expand 3.7-4 per cent after higher-than-expected growth of 4.3 per cent in the third quarter of this year.