Thai exporters welcomed the Bank of Thailandís (BOT)
latest move to ease certain currency control regulations, saying that the
export sector would greatly benefit from the decision to extend the period
for holding foreign currency deposits from three months to six months.
Santi Vilassakdanont, Vice President of the Federation of
Thai Industries said, ďThe BOTís decision will have a positive impact on
exporters, as it will give them a greater range of currency options.
Allowing exporters to hold US currency will help cut exchange rate costs
when purchasing machinery and raw materials from abroad, while the new
regulations will also benefit Thailandís international reserves.Ē
While Santi conceded that a number of entrepreneurs might
use the new regulations as an excuse to engage in currency speculation, he
denied that this would be a major problem. At the same time, he downplayed
speculation that the new regulations might lead to greater fluctuations of
the Thai baht, noting that the Thai currency had remained fairly stable for
the past year, and that the world economy still showed few signs of