Currency convertibility


We know that there is hardly any relevancy for the “autarkic mentality” in the age of economic interdependence. At the same time, comparative advantage, profit, and consumer satisfaction are the major determinants of production, along trade. Hence, the currency exchange and convertibility is necessitated and facilitated by the urge of global trade. So, the impacts of currency convertibility  will not spare any sector untouched. Let’s see the wide ranging impacts on the national, as well as global economy.

 Meaning of open economy

It is the system of economy in which government grants freedom of trade for others in the absence of barriers, license, and extra incentives. Besides, it also includes the specific degree of currency convertibility to facilitate trade.

Here, nations trade with one another depending on theirs comparative advantages.Truly, no economy would be absolutely free or restrictive but follows policies according to the prevailing conditions, interests, and susceptibility.

Currency convertibility

Currency is the system of money with certain value which is subject to change according to state of economy of that nation.

For clearity, currency convertibility means swapping values of one currency with another. The concrete motive is to facilitate trade among nations. By doing so, without any obstructions exchange of things can be executed.

In simple words, it is the exchange of purchasing power of one currency for another to sell or buy in the global market.

Types of convertibility

There are two types of convertibility. One is current account convertibility, whereas other is capital account convertibility. Let’s see more detailed about both types

Current account convertibility

It is all about the convertibility of one’s domestic currency into foreign currency. In short, exchange of one currency for another without much restrictions.Its purpose is to ease trade in goods and services. In addition, it is more helpful in transferring remittance, tourism, study, etc.

Capital account convertibility

You may be aware about the terms capital inflow and outflow. Both terms are used to show the degree of currency convertibility by nationals. Simply, it is all about the sell and purchase of financial asset at will in any nation provided that the there is no limitations. It may be bonds, shares, or other forms.

Potential impacts of convertibility

If we talk about the currency convertibility, its degree is directly proportional to the strength of economy. It means that stronger the economy, more the freedom that country offers to convert. Here are some impacts:-

Positive impacts

It boosts trade, circulation of capital, and generate employment opportunities. Currency convertibility is the sign of open market economy where barriers are hardly present. So, the goods, services, and capital can be exchanged as per the law of demand and supply. In this case, countries with greater advantage can export, whereas countries with higher opportunity costs can import required goods.

Capital convertibility allows firms to raise funds to power productive activities. Subsequently, it accelerates the rate of employment generations and improves the standards of living.

Furthermore, it helps to utilize untapped resources in the backward regions. Free exchange of capital automatically generates natural balancing mechanism of checks and balances.

Negative impacts

To be a fully convertibility on both accounts, a nation should have economically better resilient. Then only it could withstand amidst the extreme volatility of currency market. As we know that currency market is more volatile than anything else.

Trade imbalance could also be a  potential fallout due to aggressive export policies of export-led growth strategy. It may affect domestic firms, as well as balance of payment. The voices for protectionist policies might not be ruled out.

Apart from this, the possibility of excessive debt burden due to easy availability might pave the way for bankruptcy or insolvency of leading firms. Moreover, some argues that fully currency convertibility may compromise the national interests or sovereignty of that nation.


Now, ther e is some clarity in your mind about the nature, degree, and impacts of currency convertibility at the global level.

Though the currency convertibility is instrumental to boost the pace of economic growth, its degree and scope is determined by the conditions of domestic economy.

It is true that current account convertibility is more comfortable than capital account.  As I mentioned earlier that convertibility and the strength should be proportionately correlated.

As a fundamental rule,  economy should be strong enough to expose it for the global volatility. Otherwise, partial convertibility is more better option.

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