Baladi News – (Firas Ezzedine)
The file of raising the price of the US dollar issued last Monday by the Central Bank of Syria sparked controversy among economists, and views varied.
At a time when economists expected that the rates of foreign remittances through official channels would improve after the Central Bank of Syria issued a decision last Monday to amend the dollar exchange rate for remittances to reach 3000 pounds, others believe that the decision is a failure and will not help in increasing the volume of foreign remittances through the bank because the market exchange rate The black rate is 4550 per dollar, which is a difference of 1550 from the exchange rate at the bank.
Loyal analysts considered that raising the exchange rate would gain a good segment of the people and thus would inject a large proportion of foreign currencies into the markets.
Contrary to this view, the former Minister of Economy, in the regime’s government, Dr. Lamia Assi, considered that speculations should be weak in improving the volume of remittances through official channels, because the free exchange rate is still much higher than the official rate, and added that the problem of transferring through the market The black money will remain, because the citizens to whom foreign remittances are received and the investors who want to send remittances from abroad will not accept to pay this difference between the two prices, no matter how strong the penalties and security and legal measures.
Assi considered, in a statement to the loyalist newspaper, Al-Watan, that what is required to attract foreign remittances through official channels is for the Central Bank of Syria to set a price that is very close to the parallel market, especially since the volume of remittances that reach the Central Bank of Syria in light of the low price is very small. And remittances in all countries of the world that have foreign workers, such as Syria and Egypt, and transfer money to their relatives at home or buy assets, are considered one of the dollar sources that may be the most important.
Assi attacked the Central Bank’s decisions, and said, “Until today, I have not been able to realize the wisdom and benefit behind not taking such a decision despite its importance, as the drop in the price of remittances through official channels led to the loss of an important Source of dollar sources and the failure to attract investments because any investor when he wants to transfer His money to put in any project will lose more than 30%,” and considered that encouraging investment is not only through statements and words, but must be by securing a stable legislative, economic and monetary environment, as volatility is not in the interest of investments at all.
Assi said that “transferring through brokers and intermediaries in the black market has two sides, the first of which is the decline in foreign exchange sources, and this matter is catastrophic on government spending and the state’s ability to withstand and advance economically, in addition to revitalizing the black market, especially since it was allowed several months ago for exchange offices to exchange for a close amount. From the black market, meaning that most of the foreign remittances will be for the benefit of these offices.”
Assi concluded by saying that although there are no official statistics that give the number of families that depend on foreign remittances, today its percentage may exceed 30-35 percent, and these numbers can be estimated through high prices and scarce incomes, which confirm that citizens need financial assistance. From outside.
Assi was surprised by the fact that exchange offices do not announce their numbers and the volume of their transfers monthly, unlike other countries such as Egypt, which announced that during 2021 the transfers of workers abroad to it amounted to more than 11 billion dollars.
In the past few days, the exchange rate of the Syrian pound witnessed a major collapse in the parallel market, which is the basis on which it relies on pricing and trading goods.
According to some economists’ opinions, the Assad government failed to control the fluctuation of the exchange rate, and its policies led to this collapse.