PM: Trade in US dollars

PM: Trade in US dollars

Boosting capital outflows is target

Gen Prayut addressing the audience during his keynote address at the TRBN forum. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Gen Prayut addressing the audience during his keynote address at the TRBN forum. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for the nation to spend in US dollar terms to increase capital outflows and weaken the baht.

"We need to think about how expenditures can be made in dollar terms to boost capital outflows. The country's strong financial position attracts investors to use Thailand to park their money and this has pushed up the baht," he told an audience at the Thailand Responsible Business Network (TRBN) forum.

External factors led to Thailand's higher current account surplus, and hefty foreign reserves contribute to the firmer baht, even as policymakers have addressed many problems to ease the baht's gain, he said.

Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob recently said the baht is overvalued against the greenback.

The baht is the best performing currency in Asia, rising 7.67% against the US dollar this year, as investors perceive the currency is a safe haven.

According to central bank data, international reserves amounted to US$222.2 billion as of Nov 22.

The stronger baht is dealing a blow on exports, which account for about 70% of the economy, and hampering growth.

Gen Prayut said conventional thinking is of no use as the world is moving into the 5G era, but development must be done in a sustainable way.

The government must brace for Thailand's demographic shift to ensure sustainable development in the future, he said.

Thailand will become an aged society by 2021, with the global economy slowing, disrupted by technology that affects both trade and investment.

The private sector must come up with ways to adopt an ageing workforce appropriately, and workers' skills will be sharpened to keep pace with new industries, said Gen Prayut.

Thailand needs to continue investing in infrastructure, but a balance in development should be the priority, he said.

Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the SEC, Thai Listed Companies Association and other organisations joined forces to set up TRBN to persuade listed companies to operate business responsibly.

Do you like the content of this article?

Indonesia court orders president to apologise for Papua internet curbs

JAKARTA: An Indonesian court on Wednesday ordered President Joko Widodo to make an official apology after ruling that his government's decision to rein in internet speeds to contain civil unrest in the Papua region last year was unlawful.


Lampang villages ravaged by storm, 100 houses damaged

LAMPANG: A strong thunderstorm hit seven villages in Sop Prap district of this northern province on Wednesday morning, causing extensive damage to houses and other property.


Malaysian beauty queen sorry over racist US protest remarks

A Malaysian beauty queen has apologised after her comments that black people should "relax" in response to raging US protests against police racism sparked an online outcry, including condemnation from "Crazy Rich Asians" actor Henry Golding.