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Damascus Merchants Reveal Reason Behind Central Bank Policies

Damascus Merchants Reveal Reason Behind Central Bank Policies

The Syrian Central Bank has decided to raise the dollar exchange rate for financing imports to 162 Syrian Pounds.


It was previously trading at around 150 and 152 SP.


The Vice President of Damascus Chamber of Commerce, Bahaa Addinn Hassan, said that the procedures of the Central Bank forced the merchants to increasingly resort to the black market, especially since it aggravated its procedures towards the exchange companies, which prompted the latter to refrain from financing the imports due to the lack of the dollar. Moeover, the complexities required by the banks which do not fund the merchants unless they have accounts based on the instructions of the Central Bank prompted the merchants to resort to the black market, which led to the rise in dollar exchange rate.


Hassan did not deny the fact that merchants’ resort to the black market would force them to raise the prices of goods and materials sold to the consumer.


He explained that current imports entering Syria are less than 30 % of their previous value, and thus supporting imports cannot lead to a rise in the dollar exchange rate. He added that basic materials, food and medicines should be funded, and that doing so does not cost more than $2 million per day, and would not cause the  Central Bank to cross its specified line.


Hassan described the economic policy as weak, because the Central Bank did not intervene during the last two weeks in which the dollar exchange rate reached this level.


Now it appears that Damascus merchants have declared explicitly their doubts about the goals and objectives of the central strategies, prompting questions about why it raised the exchange rate for financing imports by 10 SP in ten days.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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