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Devaluation Provides Growth Opportunities

Despite the loss in value of the Jamaican currency relative to the United States dollar, two academics and a businessman have suggested that it provides opportunities to spur economic growth.

"If the Jamaican currency is becoming cheaper, then it presents a great opportunity for firms to increase their exports, asserted Dr. Denzil Williams, deputy executive director of the Mona School of Business and Management.

"We can improve our export performance if we get more enterprises to operate in the export sector. A big opportunity exists for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to become a part of the export sector," he said.

At the end of trading yesterday, the local currency traded at J$99.78 to US$1, losing $6.81 of its value since the top of this year when it traded at $J92.97 to US$1.

In a release on Tuesday, the Bank of Jamaica noted the concern about the pace of depreciation of the Jamaica dollar, which it said has occurred in the context of extended negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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