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Baht volatility to continue

Thailand works on mega transport projects

Foreign Investors Club in Chiang Mai

Baht volatility to continue

Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul on Wednesday conceded the baht would remain volatile next year as a result of continued capital inflows. Speaking during a meeting with representatives of the Thai Chamber of Commerce on the “Adjustment of Thai Economy under the Monetary Policy Framework,” he said that US$30 billion of foreign capital had so far flowed into Thailand.

Of this, $12 billion is revenue earned from Thailand’s exports of products and services, $1.5 billion is capital flowing into the stock market, $4.5 billion into the bond market and the remainder are foreign direct investments. A large amount of capital flowed into Thailand in third quarter of this year, but there was a capital outflow in November.

He said the central bank continued to intervene in the baht’s movement to ease the currency fluctuation, but it would not peg the baht at a particular level because it runs a risk of being attacked.

What should be closely monitored is the unstable recovery of the global economy, the uncertainty of policies and measures adopted by other countries, especially the currency policy of China, and Thailand’s domestic stability. However, the central bank will attempt to supervise the baht to ensure it moves in the same direction with other currencies in the region.

Under the current circumstances, exporters should increase their competitiveness in production, product quality development, and location of new markets to ensure they compete with other countries efficiently. (TNA)

Thailand works on mega transport projects

Sirima Eamtako,
TTG Asia

Thailand is working on a string of mega transportation projects which will improve domestic and international connectivity.

Five high-speed train projects, under collaborations with China, are being studied. Ministry of Transport permanent secretary Supoj Suplom said the 250kmph high-speed train ride from Kunming has the potential to “reach Bangkok within 10 hours over a 1,400km distance.”

He added that by end-2012, domestic rail links would also serve at a speed of 100kmph, up from the current 60kmph, as more bridges over rail crossings were completed.

Scheduled to be completed during the same period are two new bridges over the Mekong River connecting Laos and a second port in Chiang Rai linking China, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

The Thai government has also recently approved a 60 billion baht (US$1.99 billion) phase II development of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to expand its annual capacity from 45 million to 60 million passengers. This is slated for completion in 2016.

Foreign Investors Club in Chiang Mai

The Foreign Investors Club is a low key expat club originally created as an information network for foreign manufacturers in Lamphun but has recently seen growth with the addition of IT and Hotel Services related investors as well. This growth has fuelled a debate in what has been a loose gathering of like minded individuals as to what direction they feel the group should or needs to take. Quarterly dinners are held at various hotels around the city, with the stylish dusit D2 as the host for the latest dinner and discussion.

Members of the group held round table discussions, rotating members from table to table after a period of discussion on the path of the group. The evening concluded with Martin Venzky-Stalling offering to create a contact point for interested members and new members to join.