BUSINESS LEADERS CONCERNED OVER BAHT APPRECIATION
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking yesterday called on |the government to address the appreciation of the baht and expressed concerns about its negative impact on the country’s exports.
The committee said the baht rose to Bt32. 55 per dollar in 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 competitive-|ness 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.
EXPORTS POST 13.1% GROWTH IN OCTOBER
Thailand’s exports during the first 10 months of this year surged 9.7 per cent year-on-year to US$195.518 billion (about Bt6.4 trillion), according to a Thai National Shippers’ Council release on Wednesday.
Exports in October totalled $20.083 billion, up 13.1 per cent year-on-year, reflecting eight months of straight expansion.
Contributing factors included global trade expansion and |economic growth of Thailand’s trading partners such as US, |China and the European Union |in the early period of the fourth quarter.