22 Mar 2004

Fiji Labour Party says single currency threatens economic sovereignty

4:07 pm on 22 March 2004

The Fiji Labour party finance spokesperson says proposals for a single currency threaten the economic sovereignty of countries in the region.

Dr Ganesh Chand, says if a single currency like the Australian dollar was to be adopted, the reserve, or central, banks wouldn't be able to make policy in regard to the exchange rates.

He says currently, Australians coming to Fiji find that their dollar goes further so it becomes attractive to travel.

But, Dr Chand says that could be lost with the adoption of a single currency.

"Fiji, in particular, has been heavily reliant on sugar and tourism and both these are crucially dependent on the exchange rates. And, at the moment exchange rates in Fiji are determined by the Reserve bank. Now, if Fiji starts using Australian dollars, then the Fiji government would lose its control."

Dr Chand says if the idea is to expand the market, then it would be better to have a free flow of labour, not just of goods.