Britain insists bond notes are not a solution to Zimbabwe’s economic challenges

Britain yesterday insisted that bond notes, introduced by Zimbabwe last month as an export incentive and to save the current cash crisis the country is facing, are not a solution to Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.

“Without fundamental reform, taking into account the advice of the International Financial Institutions, an economic collapse is a real prospect,” Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Tobias Ellwood said yesterday.

He was responding to a question by Conservative MP James Duddridge about what assessment he had made of the implications for economic stability in Zimbabwe since the introduction of bond notes.

“Zimbabwe faces a serious economic crisis. Bond notes have provided some short term liquidity, but they are not a sustainable solution to Zimbabwe’s economic challenges,” Ellwood said.

Zimbabweans were against the introduction of bond notes fearing that they could fuel hyperinflation but the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been cautiously been introducing them into the market.

It has so far released only $29 million so far. The target was $75 million by the end of this month.

Q &A:

James Duddridge Conservative, Rochford and Southend East– To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for economic stability in Zimbabwe of the government in that country issuing bank notes in its own currency equivalent to the US dollar.

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs-Zimbabwe faces a serious economic crisis. Bond notes have provided some short term liquidity, but they are not a sustainable solution to Zimbabwe’s economic challenges. Without fundamental reform, taking into account the advice of the International Financial Institutions, an economic collapse is a real prospect. The British Embassy in Harare continues to monitor the situation and we are keeping our travel advice under review.

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