Manufacturers are complaining again that they are not getting United States dollars at commercial banks.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) wishes to highlight that its members continue to experience severe problems accessing US currency. Our manufacturers have continued to express their frustration at being unable to access US currency to make their payments to foreign suppliers,” the TTMA said in a statement yesterday.
The business group said it has met with the relevant authorities in an effort to address the problem, “and despite assurances of a speedy resolution, surveys within our membership have shown that the problem persists for most companies and in some cases have worsened”.
“This has a significant and negative impact on the competitiveness of local manufacturers, whose ability to buy raw materials and pay bills is being impacted by unhelpful policy and policy implementation,” the TTMA said.
It called on the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the banking and financial institution sector to work together to fix the problem.
“It is no comfort to be told that there is enough foreign exchange to meet demand when all evidence is to the contrary,” it said.
The Central Bank sold US$100 million to authorised dealers on July 2.
In June, there was an excess of US$90 million in the banking system as the supply of foreign exchange exceeded demand, the Bank said.
“Supply was strong as energy companies converted US$483 million to meet their quarterly tax obligations and Central Bank injected US$80 million into the system. The highly liquid foreign exchange market contributed to the weighted average selling rate of the US dollar appreciating to its highest level in four years.”
For the first six months of 2014, the Central Bank sold $US690 million to the financial system, or equivalent to one-fifth of the total supply of foreign exchange to the market.