Tawanda Karombo Harare

ZIMBABWE has broadened the basket of international currencies that are now acceptable as legal tender in the country to include the Australian dollar, the Chinese yuan, as well as the Japanese yen, while all gold producers in the country will now be required to sell their bullion through Fidelity Printers, a division of the central bank.

Currencies currently acceptable in Zimbabwe include the rand, Botswana’s pula, the US dollar and the British Pound. Individuals and businesses will now be able to open bank accounts and trade in the new range of currencies, which will also be acceptable in the settling of transactions.

“Individuals and corporates can also open accounts denominated in the Australian dollar, Chinese yuan, Indian rupee and Japanese yen,” the central bank said yesterday in its 2014 monetary policy statement.

China is a growing trade partner of Zimbabwe while there are also close trade ties with India. Economists however said they were not expecting any immediate abetting of the liquidity crunch in Zimbabwe, while a few business executives said they would still prefer to use the US dollar.

“Most people would still prefer to use the US dollar. I don’t believe we will see an improvement from the extension of the list of foreign currency,” said Zimbabwe economist John Robertson.

Zimbabwe’s economy is heavily saddled with constraints ranging from inadequate liquidity and capitalisation. The economy, experts say, is inching towards deflation as the country is enjoying a lower inflation rate of about 1 percent.