Deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar U Set Aung defended the stability of the Myanmar Kyat in the face of recent rapid depreciation.
Since the end of October, the Kyat has been losing value, bottoming out at 1,055 Kyats to the US dollar on November 20, but has recovered somewhat since then, according to currency trading site xe.com, although the central bank’s official figures differ.
“We are experiencing a drastic currency depreciation within the last couple of months. What do we do about it? Some people are in a panic,” U Set Aung said at a press conference at the launch of the EU Chamber of Commerce.
He countered that if you compare it to the level of our currency on the first of January, the level of depreciation today is 6 percent. At the same time, the Thai Baht has depreciated by 9 percent, the Indonesian Rupiah by 28 percent, and the Indian Rupee by 16 percent.
Because Myanmar hasn’t liberalised its national capital accounts, the impact of the depreciation hasn’t made as big a difference. Additionally, the Kyat’s depreciation has been accompanied by a drop in food and energy prices, lessening the risk of inflation, according to U Set Aung.
“Like many countries in the region, we also have many problems. We don’t call them problems, we call them challenges; it’s a kind of sexy word we like to use,” U Set Aung said, listing the investment and business climate, the macroeconomic environment, human resources, financial capacity, and infrastructure as areas that need improvement in Myanmar, as well as in the region as a whole.