Thai private sector demands stiffer monetary measures

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BANGKOK, April 24 – The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) will call on the government to impose monetary measures to tackle currency speculations which have severely affected Thai exports, a leading industrialist said today.

FTI Chairman Payungsak Chatsuthipol said the swift surge of Thai baht has negatively impacted the supply chain, domestic industry and exports.

He said the government should adopt a new approach to exchange rate targeting instead of inflation targeting, while the policy interest rate should be reduced by one per cent.

The government should also impose capital controls, barring foreign investors from transferring capital out of Thailand for three months, or six months, if the situation does not improve, he said.

FTI Vice Chairman Wallop Witnakorn said the baht appreciation has negatively affected Thai exports during the first quarter of this year.

He said the Commerce Ministry should promote border trade with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and expand Thailand’s market to Malaysia and Singapore. The current value of Thailand’s border trade is Bt980 billion.

New markets like Russia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East which the ministry is now penetrating are in fact old markets, he said.