Thailand and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under which IMF will establish the Thailand Technical Assistance Office in Bangkok.
The signing ceremony took place on 12 July 2012, when Mr. Prasarn Trairatvorakul, Governor of the Bank of Thailand, represented the Thai government, while Ms. Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, represented IMF.
It came after the Cabinet, during its meeting on 10 July, approved the MOU on the establishment of the Technical Assistance Office in Thailand. The new office will support IMF’s technical assistance for Myanmar and Lao PDR, in collaboration with the Bank of Thailand.
According to the central bank, the opening of the Technical Assistance Office underlined the Bank of Thailand’s contribution to IMF, which is also supportive of Thailand’s continuing cooperation effort with the neighboring countries.
The objective is to provide technical assistance and capacity-building in various areas, such as monetary policy and financial institution supervisory policy for the subregion.
In particular, the technical cooperation is directed toward Myanmar and Lao PDR, which are undergoing economic and financial reform to enhance the conduct of their macroeconomic policies and domestic financial systems.
Such efforts would contribute to promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, bringing about closer financial integration in support of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community.
The Thailand Technical Assistance Office will be located in the Bank of Thailand’s complex and will start operation in September 2012. There will be one coordinator, two resident advisors, and short-term experts to be posted by IMF at the new office. The Ministry of Finance stated that the establishment of the IMF office in Bangkok would enhance Thailand’s role in the region and the international arena.
Announcing the opening of the Thailand Technical Assistance Office, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that IMF was very grateful for the generosity of the Thai authorities, who are hosting this new office at a critical moment when important technical assistance and capacity-building needs were emerging in the region.
Ms. Lagarde also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on 12 July. In her meeting with the Prime Minister, she emphasized IMF’s continued engagement in Asia, and cooperation with ASEAN. IMF also welcomed Thailand's support for the IMF's quota and governance reforms, which will ensure that emerging Asia has a strong voice at the IMF.
Ms. Lagarde said that IMF also warmly welcomed the one- billion-US-dollar pledge by Thailand to strengthen IMF resources. IMF and the Bank of Thailand shared the view on the suitability of Thailand, given its strategic location in Southeast Asia.