CARICOM concerned about devaluing of Suriname currency

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By Jomo Paul

Secretary General of Caricom, Irwin LaRocque
Secretary General of Caricom, Irwin LaRocque

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The recent move by the Government of Suriname to devalue its currency by more than 20% has sparked some concern for CARICOM countries – especially those that have trade agreements with the country.

CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque on Tuesday, November 24 told reporters that while he is aware of the issue, no complete economic analysis has been done of Suriname’s situation on his part.

“Anytime a country is going through economic difficulties that would require some form of adjustment, it is going to be of concern to us,” said LaRocque.

He noted that the issue will be studied by CARICOM to ascertain what the implications would be for the trade bloc.

“We are a community and we are seeking to build a regional economy and again I am not very clear of the details…it is a matter to be looked at with concern and we would be looking and studying what are the implications to the community,” said the Secretary General.Caricom Secretariat

The CARICOM Head noted too that he would not be surprised if Suriname is still reeling from the 2008 global economic crisis and this is an aftershock of that event.

‘Since 2008 our region has never recovered from this global recession…We in the Caribbean have a particular problem…with the peculiar vulnerabilities that we have and our governments don’t have the fiscal space that it allows governments to have to stimulate the economies,” he stated.

The Central Bank of Suriname blamed the drop in global prices for oil and gold for the decision to devalue the currency which will now trade at four Suriname dollars to the US dollar, up from $3.25.

The Central Bank said that the financial reserves had declined to US$370 million from one billion dollars in December 2012.

“Suriname is momentarily experiencing a genuine commodity shock,” the Central Bank said in a statement, while opposition legislators said the devaluation was a “smack in the face to all Surinamese”.

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