As departments of France, the CDF benefit from 2 major international currencies: the French franc and the European euro. The value of the French franc is locked to the euro at F6.56 per euro. The value of the euro, in turn, fluctuates according to European market strength and supply and demand in international money markets. The European Central Bank determines monetary policy . Since the euro was introduced in 1999, it has steadily appreciated in value against the U.S. dollar. In 1999, 0.9386 euros equaled US$1, whereas in January 2000 the euro appreciated in value to 0.9867 euros per US$1. While a higher euro value reflects the growing strength
|Exchange rates: French Guiana|
|euros per US$1|
|Note: Amounts prior to 1999 are in French francs per US dollar.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
of the EU market, less developed areas of the EU such as the CDF suffer from a high currency since it means that more money is needed to purchase their exports. This, in turn, means that their exports are less attractive. In the case of the CDF, this is especially detrimental given the already large trade deficits.
The central bank of the CDF, the bank of issue , is the Caisse Centrale de Co-operation Economique. There are also numerous state-owned development banks, intended to help foster business through loans and investment, in addition to several commercial banks. The former include the Societe de Credit pour le Developpement des Departement d'Outre Mer (SOCREDOM), the Caisse Regionale de Credit Agricole Mutuael, and the Societe de Credit pour le Developpement Regional Antilles Guyane (SODERAG). The latter include the Banque des Antilles Francaise, Banque Francaise Commerciale, Banque National de Paris, and Societe Generale de Banque aux Antilles.