Thailand aims to become regional mint

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Thailand’s Treasury Department will enter a joint venture with the British government to set up a mint to serve Thailand and neighboring countries, according to the agency’s director general.

Naris Chaiyasoot said Thailand will become a coin minting hub for Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, none of which have their own mints.

In Thailand coins are normally produced for use as currency, souvenirs and royal decorations and awards, he said, adding that the Thai-UK agreement will involve construction of a mint and a training centre to find less costly and more durable materials for the manufacture of coins.

Construction should take two years after the government’s approval and the production, initially aimed at Southeast Asian region, will be expanded to other Asian countries in the future, he said.

Thailand’s Treasury Department currently produces about one billion coins a year.