Editor’s note: In a region of increasing importance to Taiwan because of the presence of Somaliland, Taiwan’s newest diplomatic ally, one of the major port cities, Bosaso, in neighbouring Puntland, is seeing the first signs of social unrest following the introduction of a controversial dollar policy relating to import / export duties.
Bosaso (PP News Desk) — Livestock traders and brokers at Bosaso livestock market have called on Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni to reconsider the recently introduced policy to collect import and export duties in US dollars.
Trading meanwhile at the city’s livestock market remains suspended for the second day.
“Traders are demanding dollars for transactions. People who were able to buy meat in Somali shillings can no longer do it” said a livestock broker at the market.
Businesses throughout Puntland have switched en-masse to only accepting dollar-based transactions.
This trend has been the unintended result of the partial dollar-only policy recommended by a committee appointed to come up with strategies to tackle the exchange rate- driven inflation in Puntland.
“Mr President you have to think of the poor people who don’t have hard currency to buy food and vegetables” said a middle-aged man who pleaded with the Puntland President to reconsider the new policy.
“We have been weighed down by more dependency on the US dollar for transactions in Puntland at the expense of the Somali shilling. 70% of our business depends on Somalis, who use Somali shillings” said a livestock trader at the market.
On Monday this week, Puntland President issued a decree instructing Puntland customs centres to collect import-export duties only in US dollars.
This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2020 and is republished with permission
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