Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand may have to give freer rein to the bath in 2018 to avoid triggering US accusations that the Southeast Asian country is manipulating its currency to support exports, according to the latest report of the Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.

With the endeavours of policy makers in the previous year, the bath has risen by nearly 10 percent against the USD. Should the Bank of Thailand seek to assuage US concerns and avoid a range of possible penalties this year, it would likely lead to gains for its currency, potentially reducing its export competitiveness. 

According to the National Statistical Office of Thailand, Thailand’s trade surplus with the US was estimated at 16.7 billion USD at the end of October 2017, and its current-account excess has been more than 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) as of September 2017.

Thailand has passed the two percent intervention threshold and is one of the 16 countries cited by the US as running high trade surpluses with the US. 

Thailand is also among nations with the biggest percentage gains among Asian emerging markets in their foreign-exchange reserves last year.-VNA