SOLOMON ISLANDS DOLLAR WILL NOT BE DEVALUED FURTHER: CENTRAL BANK

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (February 23, 1998 - PACNEWS)---The Central Bank of Solomon Islands has given assurances that the country's currency will not be devalued further.

There is no basis for speculation among the public, a bank spokesperson said, that there will be an additional devaluation of the Solomon Islands dollar, emphasizing that the 20% devaluation instituted last December is more than adequate.

The Solomons currency, which appreciated by 13% between 1990 and 1997, has been corrected more than adequately by the 20% devaluation, he added.

The government has taken steps to support the devaluation through complementary policies, the spokesperson said, including tight fiscal measures expected to produce a reasonable balance of payments this year.

While the devaluation is more likely to contain import growth, its capacity to raise export production is less certain, because of supply constraints in the major export industries, he noted, pointing out that that palm oil expansion is constrained by lack of land, fish production depends on weather, and log exports rely on the economies and demands of Asian markets.

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