Shippers appeal for stable currency to aid business

Shippers have impressed on the government the need to work to maintain the cedi’s stability for the rest of this year to facilitate their trade.

According to them, the cedi’s depreciation had impacted adversely on their operations as it resulted in some operational losses.

The CEO of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Dr. Kofi Mbeah explained to Citi Business News the currency’s depreciation topped as one of the major challenges confronting shippers in the country.

“In our survey with shippers for the first quarter, the issue of the exchange rate came up prominently. At the beginning of this year, we saw a sharp decline in the value of the cedi. However, by the end of the first quarter, we have witnessed a gradual strengthening of the cedi against major international currencies and this is welcome news for shippers as depicted by our survey across the country,” he said.

The cedi has since March 2017, begun recording some stability after depreciating for a significant part of January and February this year.

Citi Business News’ checks in February 2017 showed that the cedi had depreciated by 5.4 percent between January and February of this year alone on the interbank forex exchange market and as much as 6.72 percent in the same period across forex bureaus in the country.

The Bank of Ghana’s Economic and Financial data also showed that the currency’s depreciation against the dollar for March 2017, was five times more than the rate of depreciation recorded in the same period in 2016.

The cedi had depreciated from 0.9 to 5 percent within the twelve months period.

Also, in March 2017, the local currency depreciated by 7.5 and 8 percent to the British Pound and the Euro respectively.

The development affected most sectors of the economy as businesses were finding difficulty to plan over the uncertainty of the currency’s performance.

Meanwhile Dr. Kofi Mbeah explains to Citi Business News a stable currency should foster certainty and guide long term plans by shippers.

“Shippers would however like government to continue with its efforts aimed at currency rate stability in order to engender certainty and to boost international trade.”

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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