US-dollar shortage making it impossible to run any business properly — JMEA


US-dollar shortage making it impossible to run any business properly — JMEA

Friday, January 17, 2020

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The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) has raised the alarm over “ yet another round of high volatility and unavailability of foreign currency in the market”.

In a news release yesterday, the JMEA said, “during December the Jamaican dollar revalued dramatically to 131 and now with less than two weeks gone in the new year, not only has the Jamaican dollar lost over three per cent of its value (and climbing), but it is also not available.”

“This cycle of volatility and lack of liquidity will create irrational behaviour that could undermine a lot of the hard work and sacrifice that have been made by all Jamaicans,” the JMEA said.

The overall effect is negative as “the situation is seriously impacting the productive sector as companies are unable to meet obligations to suppliers and to do normal business,” the JMEA said.

“Furthermore, this high level of volatility and unavailability makes it impossible to run any business properly.

“We have sought to work with all stakeholders to find sustainable solutions, but none have been forthcoming. We have been informed by the central bank that foreign currency inflows are adequate and in fact trending above the prior year. Why then are we, the end users, unable to get money to conduct our normal business?

“This sector is an important part of the economy but in the recent past, we are being treated as less than equal. This situation is untenable and poses a risk to business confidence, the country's growth agenda, and to companies' viability.

“We are seeking answers and solutions to what is genuinely a crisis for the productive sector. In the short term, we are pleading with the authorities to urgently intervene to make funds available to end users in the productive sector to meet their obligations,” the organisation added.

Looking ahead, the JMEA has recommended that all relevant stakeholders meet to find sustainable solutions to what it says has now become a recurring problem.

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