Monrovia - The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has disclosed an increase of money sent from Liberia via local banks to foreign countries.
Milton Weeks, CBL governor, said for the 12 month period in 2017, the trend of personal remittances shows 70.9 percent decline in net inward personal remittances which the bank says is largely driven by substantial increase in outward personal remittances.
At a press conference in Monrovia, he says the 12-month period started November 2016 and ended-October, 2017.
Governor Weeks says despite challenges, the economy are on the path of a rebound.
However, he said the exchange rate and inflationary pressures persist in the wake of the elections uncertainties.
He says there is continuous high demand for Forex (foreign exchange) to facilitate imports, infrastructural challenges, and other external factors, especially continued low trending in global commodity prices.
“The CBL will continue its periodic intervention in the Forex market on a regular basis to enhance market predictability and help to meet the Forex demand of importers and smaller Liberian businesses, despite the meager resources the Bank has at its disposal,” Gov. Weeks said.
Governor Weeks said the bank will continue to work with the fiscal authorities through the Liquidity Working Group and other such fora to collaboratively address the liquidity challenges by identifying intervention strategies for positive impact.
The CBL will continue the issuance of money market instruments such as treasury bills on behalf of the government and its own CBL notes in order to mop-up excess Liberian dollar liquidity from the economy to help smooth out volatility in the exchange rate, he said.
He recommended to the National Legislature, during the budget formulation process, to seek and ensure that a substantial portion (to be determined based on the size of the budget) to be allocated to the productive sector of the economy.
He suggested entrepreneurs or companies engaging into value added production.
“If this is done, it will help to boost exports receipts and reduce import payments, thus, improving the Country’s trade balance,” he said.
He added once this is done and sustained, it will lead to sustainable job creation and poverty reduction, and the legislation will considered that companies that are exporting raw materials (especially Liberia’s primary export commodities) be required to add value to their productions prior to export.