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'J'cans have to decide whether to protect foreign tastes or build local production'

Published:Thursday | June 13, 2013 | 6:13 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter, is reiterating the continued effects that Jamaicans’ preference for foreign production, have on local production and the foreign exchange rate.

Jitters spread throughout the country last Friday when the Jamaican dollar breached the $100 mark in its trading against the US dollar, and subsequent fears of price increases for basic goods and services.

Wynter says Jamaicans have to answer whether protection should be given to consumers who are consuming foreign production; or for focus to be placed on maximising the advantage of local producers to compete in the global environment.

He says Jamaica’s economic programme not only seeks to balance the Government’s fiscal accounts but also to address issues of production.

Wynter says a strong exchange rate which benefits consumers will make it progressively harder for exporters to be competitive.

On the other hand, he says if the dollar is too weak it will have an adverse effect on inflation.

He says while he understands the concerns from some sections of the public, the movement of the dollar is in keeping with the expectations of the Central Bank.

Wynter was speaking at the weekly Jamaica House press briefing this morning.

The Jamaican dollar closed trading today at $100.78 cents to US$1.


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