The Reporter Newspaper Editorial

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau,
have come together in joint consultation to make some important
recommendations about how to cope with the foreign exchange crisis.


In their joint letter to the Prime Minister these two business
organizations put forward a common sense approach to foreign exchange.


Why not allow anybody who wants a dollar account to have one?


One might be tempted to suggest that people would hoard their US dollars if
present restrictions were removed, but on second thought, why would anybody
want to hoard dollars if there is an adequate sufficiency of the greenback!


In Mexico the dollar is freely convertible with the peso, thanks to
Mexico's thriving tourist industry, and there is no hoarding. On the other
hand a lot of hoarding is going on in Belize because dollars are scarce and
because of official restrictions.


If business people and others could have easy access to a dollar account in
Belize three things are likely to occur in rapid succession.


1.Those people who have been stashing their money abroad (and there are
many who do) would be tempted to keep their money at home- in a dollar
account.


2. The multiplying of dollar accounts in Belize would in time contribute
to freer convertibility. There would be a greater supply of it at home to
take care of demand.


3. Public confidence would soar once people realize that they can do
something to help themselves; that they don't have to go hat- in-hand to
the banks for the foreign exchange they need.


Instead of being concentrated in the hands of a few, U.S. dollars would
have a wider circulation in the hands of the many. When more people have
dollars, the circulation increases. A few dollars in circulation will go
farther than a fistful of dollars being hoarded as a hedge against
inflation.


The proposal to free the dollar by making it more readily available to all
the people is a capital idea. We trust that the government will give it the
kind of attention and support that it deserves.
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