FTI wants 1% cut in policy rate

The Bank of Thailand’s monetary policy committee should take a strong steps to curb the baht’s persistent appreciation, Payungsak Chartsuthipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said on Wednesday.

Mr Payungsak this morning called a meeting of representatives of 42 industry groups to discuss ways to minimise the impact of the continuing strength of the baht, and to formulate a proposal to the central bank for action.

He said the Thai currency is now the strongest in the Asian region and far higher than the country’s trade competitors. It is time the monetary policy panel applied a strong remedy to stabilise the baht's value to restore exporters' confidence.

FTI chief called on the policy committee to hold an urgent extraordinary meeting to consider reducing the repurchase rate by one percentage point, from the current 2.75%, to help ease the difficulties experienced by exporters.

The panel’s regular meeting is scheduled for May 29.

He said the central bank’s primary target, to curb inflation to a suitable rate, should now be changed given the changing global economic situation.

Earlier this morning, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra chaired a meeting of the government's economic policy panel at Government House to discuss assistance measures for manufacturers affected by the currency's persistent strength.

Those at the meeting included Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, PM’s Office Ministers Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan and Varathep Rattanakorn, the prime minister's chief adviser on the economy Pansak Vinyaratn, director general for the Budget Bureau Woravit Champeerat, Bank of Thailand governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul, secretary general of the National Economic and Social Development Board Arkom Termpitayapaisit, and permanent secretary for finance Areepong Phucha-um.

Ms Yingluck will this afternoon leave Bangkok for Brunei to attend the 22nd Asean Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan today and tomorrow (April 24-25).

Related search: monetary policy, thailand, policy rate, repurchase rate, FTI, federation of trade industries

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