Ask any businessman and they’ll tell you – there is an acute shortage foreign exchange. It’s not yet a crisis but it is affecting importers – who can’t access hard currency to re-stock. Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is aware of the problem and the Central Bank is closely monitoring the situation.

Hon. Dean Barrow,
“The Central Bank is monitoring the situation very carefully. I want to be careful here but some of the problem is being caused by the fact that the Export Processing Zones don’t have to bring their foreign currency earnings into the pool and I am reluctant to interfere with that because that’s not the only reason there is a little bit of a crunch but it has to be factored into the mix. Let me just say that we do have the reserves and the reserves are there and part of the rationale for those reserves is to be able to have us draw on the reserves when there is a crunch that is sufficiently sharp that requires that kind of intervention.

So the Central Bank has that as a tool at its disposal and the Central Bank will have to resort to that if the circumstances absolutely demand. But clearly, it is an option of last resort and they are seeing whether the market with a little bit of massaging can kind of right itself. But the point has to be made that ultimately that is one of the purposes of the reserves.”

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