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Yuan ‘can become reserve currency’

Posted in Ásia & Oceania, Economia, Comércio & Finanças, Regiões by Rodrigo Felismino on 07/06/2009

Bareine – Gulf Daily News – 07/06/2009

SAINT PETERSBURG: China’s yuan could become a world reserve currency after it becomes fully convertible, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said yesterday.

But this process might take about 10 years, he said.

China has slowly started to use its economic might to carve out a larger role for the yuan, which is still not fully convertible.

“I think the shortest route would be if China liberalised its economy and allowed the convertibility of the yuan,” said Kudrin, a close ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

“This could take 10 years but after that the yuan would be in demand and it is the shortest route to the creation of a new world reserve currency and I think China needs to think about this,” Kudrin said at a panel discussion at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

China and Russia, the world’s number one and three biggest holders of foreign exchange reserves, have expressed unease about the volatility of the US dollar and called for discussions on ways to create rival reserve currencies.

But response from developed countries has been cool.

The European Union’s economic chief Joaquin Almunia, who took part in the same panel session as Kudrin, played down the prospects of the dollar being supplanted from its leading position in the world economy any time soon.

“The dollar is obviously the main currency in our global economy as a reserve currency and this position of the dollar will not be changed in the short-term by any kind of political decision or political will,” he told reporters.

“These are decisions adopted by the market and I think the markets in these kinds of issues evolve gradually.”

Moscow and Beijing have pushed the idea of using special drawing rights, the IMF’s unit of account, as a way to reduce reliance on the greenback.

The Kremlin has said the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China may discuss the idea of a supranational currency when they meet in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on June 16. A Brazilian official said the summit would discuss the dominance of the US dollar as well as ways to reshape the world trade system.

Disponível em: Acesso em 7/6/2009.

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