Bangkok in the evening-Bangkok skyline

The rise of the Thai bahts

Thai Baht – THB is the Thai currency. It has steadily appreciated against the USD and major currencies, although the variation hasn’t been striking. It does reflect the Thai economy. 17 million tourists a year would translate into more than $17 billion. If every tourist spent $1000 on an average. The impact of a rising baht can be both good and bad. Good because imports are cheaper and bad because it makes the tourism more expensive. Without delving into other exports from Thailand, it is safe to say that investing in this country is far safer than investing in more unstable economies like Burma or even India. India has seen a steady depreciation of its currency the rupee and the perception of India has been less favorable recently. The THB appreciated greatly against the INR. In 2008, 1 THB bought INR 1.3 , today it buys INR 1.92. That could discourage some Indian tourists but India has never been a major contributor to tourism in Thailand.

Expats living in Thailand can expect a better salary in terms of USD. average salary of about 30,000 THB would now be a little over $1000. I would expect the THB to appreciate further, simply because it is in a stable economy that is not really under any stress in the short term.

Thai Baht buys 1.95 INR. All the Indian expats in Thailand can hope to be richer in their rupees.
I predict the rate at more than 2 INR per THB before December. So you know where to keep your money.
read about the latest conversion rates for Thai bahts and other related information. This is the most updated information on the Thai currency. You may find the INR-THB relationship interesting and unusual.

Today the 20th August 2013, well before the predicted timeline in December, benchmark of 2 rupees to a baht has happened.  The new low that Indian rupee will touch is expected to be 3 INR to a Baht by Feb 2014.

This is based on the fact that the strength that Indian economy projected during the last 10 years of growth was because of the outsourcing industry’s growth and relatively high investment flows. The flight of the capital from Indian market will likely continue. There are several reasons for this. The policies are not robust like many of its neighbors. Sustaining a billion people with meager exports and an ever increasing oil bill, unending corruption, lack of fundamental strengths may slowly eat away the benefits that accrued in the last 10 years. This trend can reverse if there is a change in policies. India needs to have strong fiscal policies to curb deficit or it could end up being an Asian Greece.

Compared to India, Thailand is a safer bet economically, because of its predictability and stable growth in its tourist arrivals, lesser  chaos and strength of its fundamentals, agriculture and industry are relatively safer and should yield good results in the medium term and the long term.