Thailand is not yet ready to make use of its international reserves to set up a sovereign wealth fund, which is the direction other countries in Asia are taking.

Finance minister and deputy prime minister, Surapong Suebwonglee, says ThailandÆs international reserves, which are valued at $109 billion, are not enough to support a sovereign wealth fund and should be used instead to support the countryÆs financial stability. Surapong made the comments in a sovereign wealth funds seminar in Thailand.

Surapong notes that ThailandÆs international reserves have grown by around 40% over the past two years, mainly due to the countryÆs current account surplus.

It was reported that, in December, ThailandÆs Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry suggested the setting up of a sovereign wealth fund of around $5 billion to be used to finance the acquisition of companies abroad.

Elsewhere in Asia, India is considering setting up a sovereign wealth fund, with a slightly different structure considering the country has fiscal and current account deficits. In general, sovereign wealth funds are started with excess reserves from central banks and monetary authorities.

Taiwan is also mulling its options. It could set up a sovereign wealth fund using part of the central bankÆs $277 billion in foreign exchange reserves and could use SingaporeÆs Temasek or Government Investment Corporation (GIC) as its model. Based on the upper range of the IMFÆs estimate of the GICÆs assets at between $100 billion to $300 billion, the Singapore entity is the third largest sovereign wealth fund worldwide.