Thailand seeks direct trades in ringgit, kyat

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Thailand-Malaysia border_Arno Maierbrugger
Bilateral trade between Thailand and Malaysia was valued at $25.5 billion in 2014. © Arno Maierbrugger

The Bank of Thailand is currently negotiating with Malaysia’s central banking authorities on a direct exchange of both countries’ currencies – the baht and the ringgit – in cross-border trade instead of the US dollar in order to boost to trade and investment after entering the ASEAN Economic Community.

If an agreement is reached, it will be the first bilateral currency exchange pact within the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Bank of Thailand governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said, adding that other direct currency exchange agreements are also under way. Myanmar – with its currency, the kyat – is among the potential partners, he said.

Once the plan is realised, Thailand’s financial institutions will be allowed to determine foreign exchange rates between the baht and ringgit by themselves and Malaysian banks can do the same.

Trairatvorakul said one goal of such currency pacts is to achieve financial integration within ASEAN that will help mobilise capital, e.g. for infrastructure development. Links between their capital markets will also boost funding and regional capital market investments.

Malaysia is Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade valued at $9.4 billion in the first five months of this year. Last year’s bilateral trade was valued at $25.5 billion.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Bilateral trade between Thailand and Malaysia was valued at $25.5 billion in 2014. © Arno Maierbrugger

The Bank of Thailand is currently negotiating with Malaysia’s central banking authorities on a direct exchange of both countries’ currencies – the baht and the ringgit – in cross-border trade instead of the US dollar in order to boost to trade and investment after entering the ASEAN Economic Community.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand-Malaysia border_Arno Maierbrugger
Bilateral trade between Thailand and Malaysia was valued at $25.5 billion in 2014. © Arno Maierbrugger

The Bank of Thailand is currently negotiating with Malaysia’s central banking authorities on a direct exchange of both countries’ currencies – the baht and the ringgit – in cross-border trade instead of the US dollar in order to boost to trade and investment after entering the ASEAN Economic Community.

If an agreement is reached, it will be the first bilateral currency exchange pact within the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Bank of Thailand governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said, adding that other direct currency exchange agreements are also under way. Myanmar – with its currency, the kyat – is among the potential partners, he said.

Once the plan is realised, Thailand’s financial institutions will be allowed to determine foreign exchange rates between the baht and ringgit by themselves and Malaysian banks can do the same.

Trairatvorakul said one goal of such currency pacts is to achieve financial integration within ASEAN that will help mobilise capital, e.g. for infrastructure development. Links between their capital markets will also boost funding and regional capital market investments.

Malaysia is Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade valued at $9.4 billion in the first five months of this year. Last year’s bilateral trade was valued at $25.5 billion.

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