When a country’s central bank is seriously looking to promote the adoption of alternative means of payment to complement the official currency and to stimulate economic activity that the latter cannot mediate, I believe we can say that a break-through may be just around the corner.
Here is the report from the Patchamama Alliance.
The Complementary Currency Program
Fundación Pachamama and the Central Bank of Ecuador jointly organized a workshop on complementary currency systems that was held on June 3 and 4 in the headquarters of the Central Bank in Quito. Ultimately the goal is to develop new economic models for rural development including new exchange networks and alternative, complementary currency systems, which will help people in Ecuador get access to credit and promote local production, consumption and trade.
The workshop, called “Systems of Alternative Pay and Means of Complementary Pay,” was held to strengthen the conceptual understanding of the diverse methods of complementary currency systems and the key elements for implementing a system on a national level. In addition, the workshop aimed to explain the workings of a successful model developed in Uruguay (called C3U), and the advantages of creating and applying this system. Finally, the workshop aspired to establish work links between administrative organizations and Uruguay project architects with the Central Bank of Ecuador and Fundación Pachamama.
The first day was a planning meeting with personnel of the Central Bank; Javier Félix, advisor from Fundación Pachamama, and the invited participants from Uruguay; Fernando Cetrulo from Foundation STRO Uruguay and Enrique Baraibar, from the Direction of Development Projects of the Uruguayan Presidency. The workshop began with various presentations from the different projects of the Central Bank, discussing alternatives to economic policies with complementary payment means and compensation systems, and the C3U model. Conceptual input was given to widen the vision of those charged with the diverse projects of the Central Bank, based on the experience of peers from Uruguay.
On the second day, the workshop was opened to the public, including members from the Ecuadorian State, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, directors of Savings and Credit Cooperatives, and other organizations related to the Solidarity Economy, and university students studying economics in Quito.
The workshop achieved the planned objectives and culminated with the signature of a cooperation agreement between the Central Bank of Ecuador, Fundación Pachamama, the STRO Foundation, and the Direction of Development Projects of the Uruguayan Presidency, recognizing the importance of the development of alternative currency methods for the participating institutions. This agreement lays the groundwork for cooperation between all the participants for implementing alternative currency methods that benefit an improved distribution of wealth, employment generation, economic stability, and social development for Latin American countries.