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Myanmar, Thailand agree to use kyat, baht for border trade

U Kyaw Kyaw Maung, governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) and his Thai counterpart Veerathai Santiprabhob, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote the use of the Myanmar kyat and Thai baht for trading at the border, according to an October 21 statement issued by the Bank of Thailand.

The governors also inked a second MOU to promote financial innovation and services for payments through collaboration between the two countries, according to the statement.

The agreements were signed at the IMF-World Bank meeting in the US on October 18. However, as the MOUs were “unplanned” and took place after negotiations on both sides, further details will be ironed out later, said Daw Myint Myint Kyi, Director General of the CBM.

Even though trading at the Thai-Myanmar border is mostly conducted in kyat and baht, payments through banks are conducted in US dollars, said U Hnin Oo, vice chair of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation.

“At present, when we make a payment with a bank, we have to exchange to dollars first. Under the agreement, we will be able to narrow any exchange rate losses made,” he said.

Of the four countries that share borders with Myanmar, Thailand is thesecond largest trading partner. Trade volumes at the Thai-Myanmar border, including Tachileik, Myawaddy, Kawthoung, Myeik, Htee Khee and Maw Taung during fiscal 2018-19 amounted to US$3.8 billion, according to government data.

Source: Myanmar Times

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