Thirachai: Strong baht hurting SMEs

The ongoing appreciation of the baht has created a problem for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), former finance minister Thirachai Phuvanartnubala said on Wednesday.

Thirachai Phuvanartnubala (Photo by Natthiti Ampriwan)

SMEs had already been affected by the government’s 300-baht daily minimum wage nationwide policy, which took effect on Jan 1, and the stronger baht would worsen the situation, he said.

Mr Thirachai believes the strong baht would become another main risk factor for the Thai economy this year, as it could further trim the country’s exports.

The ex-finance minister is confident that the Bank of Thailand (BoT) is capable of overseeing the value of the baht.

But intervention in the money market to weaken the currency would increase losses to the central bank. Moreover, the intervention could be made only at a certain level, he said.

Regarding a call for the BoT to cut the repurchase rate to curb foreign direct investment inflow, Mr Thirachai said the measure would lead to an expansion in domestic lending.

It could also lead to problems of high inflation and household debts, he added.

Related search: Thirachai Phuvanartnubala, baht, Bank of Thailand

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