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Concerted currency policy for the Customs Union: Marchenko

19 april 2011, 15:54
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Gregory Marchenko
Gregory Marchenko
Customs Union member states – Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus – should pursue a concerted currency policy in order to prevent exchange rates steep fluctuations of the countries’ currencies, Gregory Marchenko, Chairman of the National Bank, believes.

“We need to cooperate with central banks of Russia and Belarus to work out a mutually acceptable agreement on currency policy (…) and it would be wise to abstain from steep changes of the exchange rates at one’s own discretion”, Marchenko told journalists in Almaty today.

Chairman of the National Bank reminded that both currency devaluations in Kazakhstan in the last 16 years “had been carried out not for domestic reasons, but rather because of steep devaluations in the neighboring countries – Russia and Ukraine”.

Devaluation of the national currency, the tenge, took place in 1999 (63%) and in 2009 (25%).
Mr. Marchenko cited example of concerted currency policy of the European countries: before the introduction of the single currency they undertook not to devalue their national currencies by more than 5%, Novosti Kazakhstan reports.

“I believe we should move in the same direction”, Chairman of the National Bank said. “Should central banks of the Customs Union member states take some actions related to their currency exchange rates, it would be wise to make sure these actions are concerted …and [devaluation/appreciation] figures are the similar”.

The Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus came into existence on January 1, 2010 to boost trade and investment. According to the statement made at the press-conference in Minsk, the Customs Union was formed on the WTO principles.

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