7 Nov 2006

Fiji's Reserve Bank tightens exchange controls

11:27 am on 7 November 2006

The Reserve Bank of Fiji has drastically tightened foreign exchange controls in a bid to shore up dwindling foreign reserves.

The Fijilive news website reports that effective immediately travellers will be allowed to take only 3,000 US out of the country in place the previous 12-thousand US dollars.

And businesses can only remit 60-thousand US dollars in profits a year in place of the previous 300-thousand US dollars.

A wide range of controls covering payments for foreign imports and trade have been brought in.

Overseas wedding expenses, gifts to relatives abroad and similar expense have been slashed by 80% to just 1-thousand-200 US dollars.

The measures have been imposed after Fiji's foreign exchange reserves fell to only 470-million US dollars at the end of September, enough to pay for just 3-point-4 months of imports.

Foreign exchange reserves in the past used to be enough to pay for around 6 to 7 months of imports.