The idea of Barbadians doing trade with CARICOM and African countries in the Barbados dollar may be one step closer to becoming a reality, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced Friday, according to Barbados Today.
The Central Bank of Barbados has agreed to enter into a partnership with the Central Bank of the Bahamas to pilot a payment platform system for trade within the region and with Africa, Prime Minister Mottley said.
Mottley made the disclosure during a ceremony at the Hilton Barbados Resort at the launch of the African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) CARICOM headquarters at the Trident Insurance Financial Centre in Hastings.
Pointing to the CARICOM Multilateral Clearing Facility (CMCF), which was established in the late 1970s and came to an end by 1983, Mottley insisted that the time had come for a replacement that would allow for the region to settle their trade with each other without having to find US dollars to do so.
“The current Governor of the Central Bank has agreed along with the Governor of the Bahamas Central Bank, to be able to anchor the piloting of a programme that will allow for trade within the region and with Africa to be taken on the basis of settling the net differences, rather than having to look for hard currency for every single transaction,” Mottley said to applause.
The CMCF was a centralized payments clearing and settlement accounting system that allowed CARICOM member states and firms to, among other things, use their local currencies to settle transactions.
“I mentioned the CARICOM Multilateral Clearing Facility only because had we had an entity such as Afreximbank at the time, to underwrite that facility, it might not have become dormant 30 years ago,” said Mottley.