12 Aug 2003

Economist says single currency in South Pacific a viable concept

5:50 pm on 12 August 2003

A single common currency for the region is a possibility according to a senior economics lecturer at the University of the South Pacific.

Dr T K Jayaraman says it could be along the lines of the EURO in Europe.

He says while the integration of Europe's economies took 50 years to come to fruition, it need not take that long in the Pacific since regional trade agreements like PACER and PICTA are already in place.

But, Dr Jayaraman says to have currency union, countries must harmonise policies on various fronts, which takes time.

"It shows a deeper committment to political union and that is going to be a problem so unless politically commitment is there you cannot forge such unions. It is going to be, I won't say a dream to put together, but maybe a distant possibility."

Dr T K Jayaraman has just had a book published, called 'Issues in Monetary Economics' which deals with banking and financial sector reforms, as well as the case for a single regional currency.