By Humphrey Carter
THE weak dollar is great for Euro zone residents travelling to the United States, but it is not helping Balearic exports to dollar markets.
President of the Chamber of Commerce for Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera, Miquel Lladó, expressed concern on behalf of his members about the continuing rise in strength of the Euro, which this week hit record highs, against the dollar. Miquel Lladó said that exporters are already suffering from a fall in sales overseas in dollar markets and are having to take precautionary measures.
Balearic exporters to the US, Latin America and Asia have seen their profit margins shrink over the past few months, Balearic products in these markets are now 23 percent more expensive than they were a year ago. “At a time when our domestic regional economic situation is not very buoyant, the strong euro is reducing our level of competitiveness,” the Chamber of Commerce boss said. “It's becoming increasingly difficult to sell and we're all having to reduce our prices,” he added.
The main Balearic export markets are footwear, leather goods, jewellery and information technology appliances and all are having it tough on the back of the euro. Lladó said that the Asian market is where the situation is becoming increasingly tough with everyone trying to undercut each other “but we've been promoting the high levels of quality goods we offer and can't start slashing our prices,” he said. Past governments have invested a great deal of time and money in helping Balearic exporters and Lladó said that however tough the situation is going get, local companies are going to try and maintain maximum levels of quality and service. In the meantime, the Chamber of Commerce is helping businesses establish new export markets, away from the clutch of the falling dollar.

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