Imbert to Discuss Forex Issue with CBTT, Business

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MINISTER of Finance Colm Imbert will be holding discussions soon with the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), commercial banks and the business community to discuss the causes and effect of increased demand for foreign exchange.

He will also be discussing strategies to deal with the current challenges and the most appropriate policy for the allocation, management and distribution of foreign currency.

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Strategies to increase the repatriation of forex earned overseas by local businesses and foreign business operating in Trinidad and Tobago are also expected to be discussed.

Imbert in a media release on Sunday said the sales of foreign exchange to the public for the first seven months of 2023 were almost the same as the amount of forex available to the public in the first seven months of 2022.

He admitted that deeper issues could be affecting the availability of forex at this time.

Imbert said, “ In fact, when one looks at the sales of foreign exchange to the public for the eight-month period of January 2023 to August 2023, and compares it to 2022, one will see that the amount of foreign exchange made available by the local banking sector in this year is effectively the same as last year, for the same period.”

He continued, “Going further to look at the amounts of foreign exchange sold to the public in 2021 and 2019, excluding the full Covid-19 year of 2020, one will see that in 2023, the sales of foreign exchange to the public for the first eight months of 2023 is 26.8% higher than the same period in 2021 and 4.3% higher than the same period in 2019.”

Imbert attributed the growth in demand for forex in an economic growth which he said began in 2022 and an explosion in online shopping over the last several years.

There was also the question of imported inflation increasing the unit cost of imported items.

He also said that the repatriation of foreign exchange earned through export earnings, which reached a high in 2022, was decreasing, as some businesses were choosing to keep their forex overseas, for various reasons. 


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