On August 14, 2023, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) approved the Thai baht (THB) as a permissible currency for international payments and settlement transactions. This announcement, which took immediate effect with the issuance of CBM Instruction No. 11/2023, reduces currency conversion complications for Thai businesses and investors in Myanmar.
Under Myanmar’s current rules requiring conversion of foreign currency transfers and balances to local currency—in place since April 3, 2022—the US dollar (USD) is used for international payment and settlement transactions and must be converted at the official exchange rate (currently USD 1 to MMK 2,100). Subsequently, the CBM instituted a direct payment mechanism allowing THB to MMK conversion for Myanmar-Thailand border trade and other flows of capital.
The CBM’s latest announcement now permits international payments and settlement transactions in THB through authorized dealer banks. Business owners and investors using THB for international payments are still required to obtain prior approval from the Foreign Exchange Supervisory Committee (FESC), the body overseeing foreign exchange and conversion matters in Myanmar. Capital-related transactions using THB also still require approval from the CBM before applying for approval from the FESC.
For more details on these THB-MMK payment systems, or on any aspect of foreign exchange regulations in Myanmar, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected].