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Europe’s Negative Interest Rate Hastens Digitalized New Currency ECO of Africa Countries

In 2019, more than 40 central banks over the world cut interest rates, but up to now, nearly 10 countries and regions adopting negative interest rates are concentrated in developed countries such as Europe and Japan.

However, the inflation in emerging economies and developing countries have not declined significantly, which may further increase the gap between the negative interest rates of developed countries and those of developing countries. Central African and West African countries are forced to issue a new fiat money ECO this year to alternate the West African Franc and Central African Franc, which have been used for half a century and are linked to French franc and euro.

The purpose of implementing a negative interest rate monetary policy in the euro area, including France, is to transmit monetary policy to the inter-bank market and national debt market, so as to reduce the level of the real economic interest rate. However, the innocent get into trouble on account of others’ misfortune, the economy of West African countries and the Central African community is actually affected by the negative spillover effect of negative interest rate monetary policy in the euro area. In addition, after the financial crisis, the euro strengthened against the U.S. dollar in a cyclical manner, which made it even worse for the economies of West and Central African countries that are weak in their own economy and tied with the French currency as well as being implemented a fixed exchange rate system. In 2020, West and Central African countries will finally have their own currency – ECO.

The introduction of the new currency ECO will not fundamentally solve the dilemma faced by the West and Central African countries, and its economy will still be tested as ECO which is still linked to the euro. Under the background that the euro area adopts negative interest rates, especially the United States has not yet adopted negative interest rates and the euro area adopts negative interest rates, the euro is still in a period of cyclical appreciation against the US dollar, and the ECO may still continue to face the negative spillover effect from the negative interest rate of euro.

Although the West and Central African countries have not identified ECO as a digital currency and have no intention of adopting the blockchain technology, from the naming of this fiat money, in order to adapt to the negative interest rate policy of the euro area, ECO may develop towards the trend of digital currency as well as adopting the blockchain technology.

The adoption of relatively independent fiat money, ECO, is conducive to promoting the economic independence of West and Central African countries, enhancing exporting competitiveness as well as the process of industrialization. In a word, promoting the process of regional economic integration from the beginning of a unified currency, and further promoting the process of African integration.

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