28 Dec 2007

Samoa Central Bank details the cost of switching to driving on the other side of the road

2:34 pm on 28 December 2007

Samoa's Governor of the Central Bank says changing the side of the road from left to right will jeopardize the country's already low foreign exchange reserves.

The Samoa Observer newspaper reports that Leasi Papalii Scanlan told Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele that buying right hand drive vehicles will drain foreign exchange reserves.

He warned that the switch means relatives overseas who are expected to buy vehicles will have less money to send as a result.

And a drop in remittances will slow down the flow of foreign exchange reserves.

Leasi expressed concern on the impact of the switch to the economy.

He says its likely that there will be a sharp increase in the imports of right hand drive vehicles once the policy becomes effective, which will also affect the banks' liquidity and the foreign exchange levels.