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Conrad Enill states there is no data to support a currency shortage in T&T

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Conrad Enill, the high commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to Guyana, claims that there is no proof of a scarcity of foreign currency in this nation. On Wednesday, he said the things while appearing on a local television program. Enill’s comments were in response to Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana’s assertions that Trinidad & Tobago lacks foreign currency.

After the results of the local government election were announced on August 14, the problem was initially brought up. In response to an inquiry, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley stated that the National Transformation Alliance (NTA) had won 30,000 votes in Diego Martin.

Rowley that would have had to be the equivalent in “Guyanese dollars.” Jagdeo however, defended the Guyanese currency as he commented on the matter at a news conference in Guyana where he disclosed that the video clip of Rowley’s remark was sent to him. He stated that Trinidadian businesses are using foreign currency in Guyana to pay for their goods because of a shortage in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Every time, sometimes they always use Guyana as an example and, so, I saw that, it was sent to me, and it was speaking about local government elections and Mr Rowley said something about ‘oh that’s like the Guyana dollars’ and laugh. Like meaning, basically, our currency is weak.

“…So let them live in this fantasy, and, the fact remains that, today, a lot of Trinidadian companies, now, because of intense foreign currency shortage in Trinidad, and they have exchange controls, which we don’t have because we have an open market, they have a managed market because of shortages, for months and months people can’t get foreign currency in that country.

“We noticed a trend here…some Trinidadian companies are procuring large quantities of goods for their business in Guyana and in Trinidad, and paying from here, making payments from here to their suppliers, so they are utilising our foreign currency to make those payments. So I hope Mr Rowley looks at that, too,” Jagdeo said.

He added that he did not want to engage in any controversy as referenced to a controversial statement he made last year.

“I hate this thing when people trying to run down (our) country…I don’t want to get into any controversy with Mr Rowley because one time I said about we determined to ensure we don’t utilise oil and gas resources the same way as they did and it got into a big heated controversy there,” Jagdeo said

In March 2022, Jagdeo had stated that Trinidad and Tobago’s economy was falling apart because of a lack of diversification away from its oil and gas sector.

Asked about the foreign exchange issue in Trinidad and Tobago Enill explained, ”

“The way you measure the ability of a country to survive is based on its months of import cover. Based on the data that is available, I have seen Guyana to have 1.4 months of cover and I’ve seen Trinidad to have moved from 12 months to 8.5 months.

“From that perspective, I think that the vice-president would have been told certain things, and he would have simply indicated that this is what he’d been told,” Enill stated.

Also, according to the former Finance Minister, there could be a market issue regarding the distribution of foreign exchange as he noted that this country’s Central Bank had put out a notice stating that if there were any issues in the marketplace, it would intervene to normalize access to foreign exchange.







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