3 August 2018

Liberia: 'Work for Single Liberian Currency Regime Begins 2019'

Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor, Nathaniel Patray, said that the Bank under his leadership, together with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), will in 2019 commence work with the Legislature and other stakeholders on a revised framework for de-dollarization to revert to a single Liberian currency regime.

Patray told the Senators during his recent confirmation hearing that several policy measures would be carried out in 2019, under the Bank's medium-to-long term policy measures.

Under those policy measures, Mr. Patray said the CBL will work with the Legislature on Export Proceeds Repatriation Law to ensure regular and constant flow of foreign exchange in the economy, and by extension increase the supply of foreign exchange in the economy.

The CBL and MFDP, Governor Patray promised, will work with the Legislature to introduce new banknotes to replace the existing one with a uniform family of banknotes; that the Government of Liberia (GoL) will be encouraged to invest in critical infrastructures such as roads, electricity, rule of law, and enforcement of property rights that promotes diversification.

He said the GoL through the ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, and the CBL should develop a value chain around agricultural output to stimulate domestic production, income generation, and employment.

Speaking further to members of the Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, Governor Patray underscored the need for GoL through MFDP, CBL, the National Investment Commission and the Ministry of Commerce to initiate a strategy to invest in the actualization of the Special Economic Zones to encourage domestic manufacturing in the economy.

As for price and broad exchange rate stability, Governor Patray said this "will remain the CBL's major goal, and apart from the goal mentioned, the CBL will work with other GoL's stakeholders to recognize a number of other economic goals, including economic efficiency to achieve the maximum fulfillment of wants using the available productive resources; economic freedom to guarantee that businesses, workers and consumers have a high degree of freedom in their economic activities."

Other economic goals the CBL intends to take, according to Governor Patray, includes bringing about equitable distribution of income to ensure that no group of Liberians faces stark poverty, while others enjoy extreme luxury.

He named some of the goals as providing economic security for those who are ill, disabled, handicapped, laid off, aged, or unable to earn minimal level of income; and to carry on a balance of trade to seek a reasonable overall balance with the rest of the world in international trade and financial transactions.

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