Myanmar Curbing the use of the US Dollar
Myanmar has announced plans to curb the usage of the US dollar throughout the country in order to help stabilize their own currency, the kyat. The kyat has fallen more than 20% in the last year, making it one of the worst performing currencies in the region, but the new plans hope to change this.
As of November 30 2015, the majority of businesses will have to return their foreign exchange licenses, with only banks and official money changers allowed to keep their permits. Tourists are likely to be affected by these changes as the US dollar, the most commonly used form of currency in the tourist industry, will no longer be accepted at hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, and many other businesses they tend to frequent. Instead, tourists will be required to pay with the kyat, and with an exchange rate of 1,200 kyat to the dollar, this means carrying around many more bank notes than before, something that is likely to be an inconveneince to many.
However, in the long-term this is hoped to be beneficial to the country by stabilizing their national currency. It is hoped that this will also cut down on the usage of cash in general and encourage the use of debit cards, credit cards and other alternatives to cash payments.