The public and private sectors share similar views on the appreciation of the baht and they are working together to curb the stronger baht.
The Cabinet, during its meeting on 14 May 2013, acknowledged the results of the meeting held on 13 May to discuss impacts of the stronger baht on the Thai economy.
The meeting to address the baht issue was called by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong. Participating in the meeting were representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Thailand, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Thai Bankers Association, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Board of Trade of Thailand, and the Tourism Council of Thailand.
The meeting agreed that the currency’s appreciation would adversely affect exports, tourism, and the overall economy and that joint operations by relevant agencies would help stabilize the baht and maintain Thailand’s competitiveness.
In order to deal with the situation, the private sector urged the public sector to ease the slowdown in exports and provide assistance to manufacturers and exporters. It proposed that the Government consider pushing for the baht as a major regional trading currency.
In tackling labor shortages, especially skilled labor, the public sector was urged to reduce obstacles to labor movement in the region and to expand vocational education. The private sector also called for various infrastructure projects, particularly those concerning energy, in order to meet the demand in the production sector.
As the baht has become stronger, more production industries have turned to seek raw materials overseas. This has an effect on relevant industries, especially auto part manufacturing. In this regard, the private sector asked the Government to promote the use of more domestic raw materials for local industries.
The Government was also urged to consider exempting value added tax (VAT) for industries that sell products to exporters. It was asked to allow exporters who receive foreign currencies from their businesses to pay in foreign currencies, without having to change them into baht.
The private sector called on the Government to offer loan sources with low interest rates in order to support product development. It also urged the Government to reduce tariffs for gem and jewelry imports for exhibitions in Thailand.
Moreover, the Bank of Thailand was asked to disseminate information about comparisons between the baht and other currencies, especially the Japanese yen.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra instructed Mr. Kittiratt to call meetings to address the baht issue on a continual basis in an effort to deal effectively with the appreciation of the baht.