19 November 2012

Gambia: The Foreign Exchange Market


Since the Office of the President has lifted the suspension on foreign exchange dealers in the wake of their cooperation with ascribed regulations, we caution that those in the trade continue the trend that warranted the lifting of the suspension and ensure that the art of hoarding is discarded.

We need not remind them that the availability of enough foreign currency reserve in any country is a key determinant of the growth and progress of that country's economy. Economic statistics have proven that the stronger the foreign currency reserve of a country, the more stable the local currency becomes.

Hoarding of foreign currency with a view to create its artificial shortage and force the country's legal tender to depreciate constitute economic sabotage and dubious entrepreneurship. Such a conduct cannot be tolerated and we hope dealers of foreign currency would continue to adhere to the standards of best business practices.

It is certain that The Gambia has been registering positive economic growth; also our national currency, the dalasi, has been relatively stable over the years. All these are due to the policies put in place by the government.

It should therefore be understood that economic development is a programme, a group of policies, or activities that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of a community and its citizens. Hoarding of foreign currency leads to artificial scarcity, and this in turn causes the local currency to depreciate against the major currencies. This in turn, harms the economy. We must not allow it to happen.

Our business community must also realise that successful economic development affects everyone and doesn't just happen. It takes time, strategic planning and most importantly, strong public-private partnerships. Government is doing all it can to develop this country. It is the responsibility of everyone to become an active and genuine actor in this process.

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