Saturday, December 7, 2019

‘We Need to Maximize Production to Reduce the Trade Deficit’

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) Bakary Jammeh, has urged that production should be maximized to reduce the country’s deficit in trade.

Mr. Jammeh said this on Thursday November 28th 2019 during the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

Jammeh confirmed that the current debt situation of the country was inherited from the past regime, which he said has to be managed and meticulously handled.

“We need to produce, because we have the human resources, potential and proximity to markets. We have to use the human capital and train people with the skills to maximize productivity in order to have the right people in agriculture. This is very significant if we are to reduce the country’s trade deficit. The current debt situation of the country was inherited. But efforts are being made to make sure that it is sustainable. The impact of debt on the country’s economy denies it of the vital resources needed to accelerate growth and create employment to reduce poverty,” he said; that debt is not bad if it is judiciously used and that the burden should not fall on future generations; that with a one dalasi debt which creates an asset of one dalasi, one will have both asset and liability; that thus such an asset will be enjoyed by future generations.

Jammeh said the significant part of the country’s budget is spent on debt services, which money should have been used for education, health, agriculture and son on; that some of the measures taken to address indebtedness is the current on-going engagement with development partners to have either debt cancellation or the restructuring of the country’s debt payment plan or a combination of both.

“The measure also includes issuing long term bonds to restructure the country’s domestic debt, coupled with the on-going budget sustainable reforms at the level of the Finance Ministry”, he said; that exports from the county is small and this needs to be worked on so as to reduce the trade deficit.

Jammeh said the economic outlook for 2020 will continue to grow robustly; that at the moment, they are conducting an assessment for 2019 and hope that the country’s economy will continue to grow.

“We expect the economy to growth robustly in 2020 and the medium term outlook for the Gambia is good. Growth projections are extremely good but we need to stay focused and continue with reforms on inclusive growth as well as human capital development,” Jammeh concludes.

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