TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian lari has dropped in value again and is now traded for more than two US dollars – the lowest exchange rate for the last eleven years.
According to the National Bank, the exchange rate for lari on January 28 is 2.0144 for one USD. It was 1.9962 on January 26.
The last time the lari was this low in value was in 2004. The lari began falling in value in November, 2014, when one USD was 1.75 laris.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday held a meeting at the government office to analyze economic situation in the country. Present were the economy minister and finance minister and the head of the National Bank.
On the meeting’s agenda was ways to maintain the stability of the lari in a long-term perspective. The head of government pointed out that Georgian lari has a floating exchange rate and claimed that the situation is under control.
Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri said there is agreement about taking steps to encourage export, tourism and direct investments. He underlined that currency rates in the Caucasus region have fallen against USD, while lari to some degree maintained its position.
National Bank head Giorgi Kadagidze said the bank’s most important goal is to prevent that the drop in the lari rate against USD translates into a massive price increase.
“Nowadays we don’t face an increase in the general price level. It is influenced by factors like cheaper oil price and reduced international prices for other products.”
If prices increase, the adequate reaction by the NBG, he said, will be to make the monetary policy stricter. Such a decision may be made on February 11, when the bank will hold a session about its monetary policy.