The US decision to downgrade Thailand in its human trafficking rankings has a negative impact on the kingdom, said Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul Monday.
The US moved Thailand to its worst ranking level, that of the Tier 3 group of countries being watched for human trafficking, has tarnished the country's national image and reputation and could slow national economic recovery to some extent.
However, he said, the government was explaining the issue to the US and the problem happened only in some industries, not all.
Prasarn also said that the Thai Chamber of Commerce was trying to explain the matter to trading partners, especially the US, by informing them that Thailand had tried to tackle human trafficking and if the explanation was successful, there would not be an impact on businesses in the private sector.
The governor said the Thai authorities should seriously resolve human trafficking in some industries which had not tackled the problem consistently.
When the country faced an economic slowdown, the problem therefore significantly affected the growth of the national economy, Prasarn said. However it is still too early to assess impacts on Thai exports this year.
Thailand should wait to see if US President Barack Obama would agree with the downgrade. However, Prasarn admitted that Thai exports would grow by less than 4 per cent and that the national economy would expand by 1.5 per cent this year.