Chinese Yuan as Reserve and Trade Currency?

A series of Chinese government policy changes are enabling Asian companies to settle trades with their Chinese counterparts in renminbi, according to Risk.net website. And increased intra-Asian trading volume may lead Beijing to also consider allowing other trade-related insurance and derivatives denominated in renminbi to be done offshore, according to bankers and regulators in Hong Kong.

Although it is still very early, the Chinese move aims for its currency to join the US dollar and EU's Euro as a major trade and reserve currency. A key hurdle that the Chinese need to cross is the full convertibility of the yuan into other major currencies. Beijing is beginning to get around the convertibility issues by signing currency swap agreements with several of its trading partners, including Argentina, Indonesia, India, Japan, Pakistan, Russia and South Korea. The agreement requires that the central banks of the partner countries have adequate deposits of each others’ currencies. These countries will eventually be able to use the Chinese currency for deals between each other.

It has long been recognized that the US dominance in global affairs is at least partly attributable to the US dollar as the world's biggest reserve and trading currency. Nearly two-thirds of the world's central-bank reserves are denominated in US dollars, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. The euro accounts for about a quarter -- up from 18% when it was introduced in 1999, but less than its predecessor currencies' share in 1995. Because the U.S. is such a huge trading partner for so many countries, the reserve buildup isn't easily unwound.



According to the Wall Street Journal, the dollar is also deeply entrenched in world trade. Businesses lower their transaction costs by dealing in a common currency. More than 80% of exports from Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan are invoiced in dollars, for instance, according to the latest figures available in research by the European Central Bank, although less than a quarter of their exports go to the U.S.

Taking a page from the history of US rise in the last century, the Chinese efforts on currency appear to be only the first part of its larger push to assert its status as a new superpower of the twenty-first century. In a piece interestingly titled "It’s China’s World. We’re Just Living in It" in the latest issue of Newsweek, the authors argue that the Chinese are looking to reshape the world with China at its center. The larger plan includes the creation of a new framework with a new set of international institutions through which the Chinese can exercise their power.

While many nations want to change at least part of their reserve holdings from US dollars to euros or other alternatives, they know if they sell a significant share of their dollar reserves, it would weaken the dollar's value. That would potentially hurt their own trade competitiveness, and push down the value of their remaining dollar reserves. If they keep the dollars, a buildup of unwanted assets would only mount.

Beijing holds $2 trillion in dollar assets, accumulated through years of exports to America and massive purchases of Treasuries by the Chinese government, according to Businessweek. One way they can reduce their exposure to dollar assets over time is to shift their reserves from long-term Treasuries into shorter-term U.S. bonds. That shift would give the Chinese more flexibility in easing away from the dollar. The New York Times reported recently that the Chinese seem to be maintaining dollar-asset ownership levels, but shifting their holdings into maturities of a year or less—something they have not previously done.

"There is no alternative to the dollar as a trading currency in Asia," Andy Xie, a Hong Kong-based economist told the Wall Street Journal last year. "Eventually, the renminbi [yuan] will replace the dollar in Asia, perhaps in our lifetime. But it will take at least 30 to 40 years."

Here's a similar opinion issued recently by Moody's Investor Service on the status of US dollar as global reserve currency:

Recent speculation about the future of the dollar as the world's reserve currency is, in Moody's view, unfounded. Despite the US's external deficits and dollar depreciation, we believe that the likelihood of the dollar losing its prominent role as a reserve currency remains very low for at least the next three to five years: Regardless of the current state of US public finances, the economic and political factors underpinning the dollar's reserve currency status are still aligned in favour of the dollar and are likely to remain so for some time. There are no plausible alternative currencies that are ready to take the US dollar's place as the global reserve currency. We do not consider the Chinese renminbi and the IMF's Special Drawing Right (SDR) to be credible alternatives. Inertia and the interconnectedness of financial markets, not to mention the size of the global market for dollar-denominated debt, highlight the difficulties of a global switch from the dollar to another currency...



As China begins to surpass America as a major trading partner of many of the largest economies, it has growing economic clout in the world. But the key question is: Can the Chinese come up with their version of Bretton Woods—a system of political and economic public goods that have benefited not only the United States, but the key US allies as well? Only time will tell.

When the 20th century began, the U.S. was already the world's biggest economy, but the British pound still accounted for nearly two-thirds of official foreign-exchange reserves held by the world's central banks. The dollar didn't become the dominant currency until after World War II. Even then, some commodities still traded in pounds: The London sugar market didn't jettison sterling for a dollar-denominated trading contract until around 1980. The history lesson here is that, while the reserve and trade currencies can and do change, it takes a significant re-architecture of the world economy and trade and significant amount of time for it to happen.

The signing of currency swap agreements with several of its trading partners, including Argentina, Indonesia, India, Japan, Pakistan, Russia and South Korea, is a good start for China. But it will take many decades for yuan to displace US dollar after China becomes the world's largest economy around 2040.

Here's a video clip of NYU's Professor Nouriel Rubini's prediction on yuan:



Related Links:

China's Checkbook Power

Godfather's Vito Corleone: A Metaphor For Uncle Sam?

The Future of US Dollar as Reserve Currency

Bretton Woods

China's Growing Role in Afghanistan and Kashmir

China Sees Opportunities Where Others See Risk

Chinese Do Good and Do Well in Developing World

Can Chimerica Rescue the World Economy?

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Here's an interesting commentary by Sudha Ramachandra about India's future prospects:

The populations of Europe and Japan are already graying, and the working-age populations of the United States and China are projected to shrink too in the next two decades. By 2020 the US will be short 17 million people of working age, China 10 million, Japan 9 million and Russia 6 million. However, India will have a surplus of 47 million people, giving the country a competitive edge in labor costs, which will be sustainable up to 2050, according to a study by Goldman Sachs.

Economists say India will catch up with the Chinese economy beginning in 2030, when the latter could cool off as the result of an aging population. "The window of opportunity offered by a population bulge has clearly opened for India," points out noted economist C P Chandrasekhar of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. After decades of evoking despair, India's demographic profile is finally beginning to stir hope.

But not everyone views the population bulge with such optimism. Some analysts say it is not enough to have a young population. The working-age population needs to be healthy and literate.

India's score on this, while improving, is certainly not inspiring. About 50% of all Indian children are undernourished, a large percentage of them born with protein deficiency (which affects brain development and learning capacity, among other things). This is hardly the ideal foundation for a productive workforce, as the likelihood of a malnourished child growing up to be an able adult is rather dim.

There is also the question of whether the population has the skills and knowledge to take on India's future work. Literacy has improved dramatically over the years - just 14% of the population was literate in 1947 versus about 64.8% today - but many who are classified as literate can barely read or write. And 40% of those who enroll in primary schools drop out by age 10. The curriculum in the schools, especially the government-run ones, does not prepare the child for the domestic job market, let alone the global one. The huge "workforce" might not be qualified to do the work.

Moreover, India's rich and educated classes are preferring to have small families, so the additions to the population are coming largely from the poor, illiterate sections in society. Nicholas Eberstadt, who researches demographics at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, points out that while India's overall population profile will remain relatively youthful, "this is an arithmetic expression averaging diverse components of a vast nation. Closer examination reveals two demographically distinct Indias: the north that stays remarkably young over the next 20 years, and a south already graying rapidly due to low fertility."
Riaz Haq said…
Here are excerpts from a Wall Street Journal report on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi:

Mr. Wen sought during the visit to strengthen commercial ties with big-ticket investment proposals and a promise to further open China's markets to India.

On Wednesday, Indian and Chinese companies signed more than 40 deals in the power, commodities and telecoms sectors for a combined $16 billion. Many of the deals were Chinese bank financing agreements for large Indian orders of Chinese exports of telecom and power-producing equipment.

During the first 10 months of 2010, China exported goods valued at $32.87 billion to India, but its imports totaled only $17 billion.Mr. Wen reiterated that Beijing will heed New Delhi's request to broaden access of Indian exports such as pharmaceuticals, information technology and agricultural products to shrink India's trade deficit.Mr. Wen also said in his speech to the diplomats that China understands and supports India's desire to play a bigger role at the United Nations, including the Security Council. China has long opposed a permanent seat for India on the council, and Mr. Wen's comments Thursday didn't appear to represent a change to that position. President Barack Obama during a visit to India in November for the first time publicly backed India's inclusion as a permanent member of the Security Council.

India, concerned over its trade deficit of $19 billion last fiscal year, wants better market access for its exports. For now, India's main export to China is iron ore, while it imports large amounts of high-value manufactured goods.

"The two sides agreed to take measures to promote greater Indian exports to China with a view to reduce India's trade deficit," the two countries said in a joint statement.

India-China trade ties have often been rocky, as India continues to impose antidumping duties—the highest by any country at the World Trade Organization last year—against Chinese products, alleging that the prices of some goods are set artificially low.

China has also raised objections to India's stringent regulations in sourcing power and telecommunications equipment, calling them discriminatory.

China and India have shared interests in reform of the council, with both supporting expanded representation of developing countries, Mr. Wen said Thursday.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a report of a Swiss journalist forecasting doomsday for US dollar:

The United States greenback has become the biggest speculative bubble in history and will soon go the way of the dinosaurs, warns Swiss financial journalist Myret Zaki.

In her latest book, Zaki says that the euro’s future is much brighter and that attacks against the currency are just a smokescreen aimed at hiding the collapse of the American economy.

“The collapse of the American dollar… is inevitable. The world’s biggest economy is nothing but an illusion. To produce $14,000 billion of nation income, the United States has created over $50,000 billion of debt that costs it $4,000 billion in interest payments each year.”

There can be little doubt about Myret Zaki’s opinion of the American dollar and economy, which she considers technically bankrupt, an opinion she backs up in her new book, La fin du dollar (The end of the dollar).

Over the past few years, she has become one of Switzerland’s best known business journalists, with a book about the UBS debacle in the US and another about tax evasion.

swissinfo.ch: You say in your book that the end of the dollar will be the major event of the 21st century. Aren’t you painting the situation more catastrophic than it really is?

Myret Zaki: I realise that predicting such a huge event when there are no tangible warning signs of a violent crisis may seem all doom and gloom. But I reached those conclusions based on extremely rational and factual criteria.

More and more American authors believe that their country’s monetary policy will lead to such a situation. It is simply impossible that it will happen any other way.

swissinfo.ch: It’s not the first time the end of the dollar has been foreseen. What makes the situation different in 2011?

M.Z.: It’s true that it has been announced since the 1970s. But never have so many different factors come together, letting us fear the worst. American debt has reached a record level, the dollar is at a historic low against the Swiss franc and most new American bond issues are being bought by the US Federal Reserve. Other central banks have also been criticising the US, creating a hostile front against American monetary policy.

swissinfo.ch: Besides the end of the dollar, you are also announcing the end of the US as an economic superpower. Isn’t America simply too big to fail?

M.Z.: Everybody has an interest in the US economy staying afloat, so everyone is in denial for the time being. But it won’t last forever. No one will be able to save the Americans. They will have to carry the burden of their bankruptcy alone.

They can expect a very long period of austerity, which has already begun. Forty-five million Americans have already lost their homes, 20 per cent of the population is out of the economic system and is not spending, while a third of states are bankrupt. No-one is investing their money in the country any more. Everything is built on debt.
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swissinfo.ch: What will happen if the dollar collapses as predicted?

M.Z.: Europe is the planet’s biggest economic power and it has a strong reference currency. Unlike the United States, it is also expanding. In Asia, the Chinese yuan will become the reference and China is Europe’s biggest ally.

It has an interest in supporting a strong euro so it can diversify its investments. China also needs an ally within the World Trade Organization and the G20 so it can avoid a re-evaluation of its currency. Today, Europe and China are two gravitational forces that are attracting two former US allies, Britain and Japan....
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan and China on Friday signed a currency swap arrangement to promote bilateral trade and investment and strengthen financial cooperation, according to an Express Tribune report:

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and People’s Bank of China (PBC) signed the currency swap arrangement in Islamabad, announced the central bank. The agreement was signed by SBP Governor Yaseen Anwar and PBC Deputy Governor DU Jinfu.

This is the second currency swap agreement that the government has signed with any country. Earlier, Pakistan and Turkey inked a similar arrangement with an option to trade in each other’s currencies equivalent to $1 billion.

An official handout said the bilateral currency swap arrangement has been concluded in 10 billion Chinese yuan and 140 billion Pakistani rupees. The programme will expire in three years, but can be extended with mutual consent. Pakistani importers can pay for Chinese goods in local currency.

“We expect that bilateral trade and investment will grow between Pakistan and China as a result of this agreement, further augmenting economic ties between the two countries,” it added. This agreement will contribute significantly to further strengthening close and special relationship between the two countries.

The currency swap agreement will give a positive signal to the market on availability of the other country’s currency on the onshore market, said the central bank, adding as a result it will promote bilateral trade denominated in Chinese yuan and Pakistani rupee.

Arrangement raises questions

However, industry insiders suspect that China will later convert the arrangement into a loan as it has expressed little interest in trading in Pakistani currency. On the loan, it can charge mark-up at a rate more than the Shanghai interbank market rate.

The insiders said when Pakistan proposed Beijing to sign the currency swap agreement China refused to deal in Pakistani currency. They said Pakistan had also proposed China to buy its treasury bills with the swap money, but Beijing refused.

They said Pakistani importers may still have to pay in Chinese currency despite signing of the swap arrangement.

Despite repeated attempts, State Bank officials were not available for comment.

Total volume of bilateral trade was $7.4 billion last year, tilted in favour of China. Pakistan’s exports to China stood at $1.6 billion compared to imports worth $5.8 billion, showing a deficit of $4.2 billion, said the commerce ministry.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/311206/pakistan-china-sign-currency-swap-agreement/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Washington on Pak-China currency swap deal:

China announced a currency swap with Pakistan on Saturday in a new step to gradually expand use of its tightly controlled yuan abroad.

Beijing has begun allowing limited use of yuan in trade with Hong Kong and Southeast Asia in a move that could help to boost exports. It has signed swap currency deals with central banks in Thailand, Argentina and some other countries.

The Chinese central bank said it agreed Friday with its Pakistani counterpart to swap 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) for 140 billion Pakistani rupees. It said the money would promote investment and trade but gave no details of how it would be used.

Such agreements give central banks access to each other’s currency but commercial banks still need to create systems to issue letters of credit and handle other transactions in those currencies before companies can use them.

The United States and other trading partners complain Beijing’s controls on the yuan keep it undervalued, giving its exporters an unfair price advantage and hurting foreign competitors at a time when the global economy is struggling.

Some American lawmakers are demanding punitive tariffs on Chinese goods if Beijing fails to move more quickly in easing its controls.

Expanded use of the yuan abroad would reduce costs for Chinese traders who do most of their business in dollars and euros. It also might increase the appeal of Chinese goods for foreign buyers who have yuan to spend.

Beijing also has created a market for yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong. It said last week that some foreign investors who obtain yuan abroad would be allowed to invest them in China’s stock markets.

The Chinese central bank announced a currency swap agreement with Thailand this week and has carried out swaps with Argentina and Kazakhstan. It has pledged to lend yuan to some other countries’ central banks in case of emergencies.

Chinese leaders say they plan eventually to allow the yuan to trade freely abroad but analysts say it might be decades before that is completed.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/china-announces-currency-swap-with-pakistan-in-new-move-to-expand-yuans-use-abroad/2011/12/23/gIQAJ8HlEP_story.html
Riaz Haq said…
China has become Pakistan's largest trading partner, replacing the US which slipped to third place, according to Dawn News:

China has emerged as Pakistan’s largest trading partner replacing the US and is being closely followed by the UAE. The US has slipped to third position on the list of the top ten trading partners.

Germany and the UK occupy eighth and 10th slots respectively and Japan is no more on the ten top list. The latest rankings based on the FY11 statistics indicate that Pakistan is doing much more trade within Asia and its reliance on American and European markets is on the decline.
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Emergence of the new rich in China and expansion in middle-income consumers in the Middle Eastearn countries opened up new opportunities for Pakistan to boost trade with all these nations. Moreover, the trade gravity played its part in redirecting our external trade towards South and East Asia including Malaysia and Indonesia.

Small wonder then, that in the last fiscal year seven out of the top ten largest trading partners of Pakistan were all Asians—China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Afghanistan and India. And all of them except Saudi Arabia and India showed an improvement in their respective rankings, in a small span of three years.

“Interestingly whereas recession in the US and troubled political relationship between Islamabad and Washington affected growth of bilateral trade, the surge in the US troops in Kabul aimed at winding up the military operation there increased our exports to Afghanistan,” according to a senior official of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). That explains, at least in part, why Afghanistan’s seventh slot among our largest trading partners in FY11.

Our exports to Kabul totaled $2.3 billion in FY11. This growth trend is continuing and in the first five months of this fiscal year, exports to Afghanistan have touched a billion dollars mark------------
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Business leaders say Pakistan’s top bilateral trade partners are changing not just because of economic miracle of China and overall better average economic growth in Asia than in America and in Europe. “Increase in imports from China, for example, is also related to the Chinese investment projects in Pakistan part of which are scaling down American influence,” said a former president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
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India and China are two of the six countries on the list of the top ten trading partners with whom Pakistan runs trade deficits.
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The other four are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Malaysia. Whereas Pakistan imports large amounts of costly fuel oil from the first three countries, it runs trade deficit with Malaysia primarily due to huge import bills of palm oil.
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With four countries out of the ten largest trading partners, Pakistan boasts of a trade surplus. These are the US, Afghanistan, Germany and the UK. “Whereas it is easier to retain Afghanistan as a major export market and it is encouraging that Bangladesh has emerged as a billion-dollar market for our products, the US, Germany, the UK and other European countries are equally important for sustained growth in overall exports,” remarked chairman of Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association Mr. Shabbir Ahmad. He and many other exporters believe that normalisation of political relationship with the US and continuing of efforts to win trade concessions in European Union are required for keeping exports on a high growth trajectory.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/16/top-ten-trading-partners.html
Riaz Haq said…
The UK Treasury has announced plans to make London the leading international centre for trading China's currency, the yuan, also known as the renminbi, according to BBC:

"London is perfectly placed to act as a gateway for Asian banking and investment in Europe," said UK Chancellor George Osborne.

Bankers say the plans could bring billions of pounds into the City.

China has been gradually relaxing strict controls on the value of its currency and on flows of capital.

Mr Osborne, who arrived in Hong Kong on Monday at the start of a visit to Asia, said he would be holding talks "on establishing London as the new hub for the renminbi market as a complement to Hong Kong".

The City, he said, as the world's largest centre for foreign exchange, was "uniquely placed to assist in the development of this exciting market".
Major currency

According to Treasury officials, the new partnership with Hong Kong puts London in pole position to be the major centre for trading the Chinese currency outside China and Hong Kong.

An intergovernmental agreement that London and Hong Kong would work together on yuan trading was reached last summer.

Following the relaxation of strict state controls, the yuan is set to become a major, globally-traded currency, in keeping with China's status as the world's second biggest economy.

A recent report by the Chatham House think tank forecast that trade transactions settled in the currency would reach around a trillion dollars (£650bn) by 2020.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16571765
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Asia Times piece on the importance of GCC Arabs to US power and US dollar:

There's no way to understand the larger-than-life United States-Iran psychodrama, the Western push for regime change in both Syria and Iran, and the trials and tribulations of the Arab Spring(s) - now mired in perpetual winter - without a close look at the fatal attraction between Washington and the GCC. [1]

GCC stands for Gulf Cooperation Council, the club of six wealthy Persian Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - UAE), founded in 1981 and which in no time configured as the prime strategic US backyard for the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, for the long-drawn battle in the New Great Game in Eurasia, and also as the headquarters for "containing" Iran.

The US Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain and Central Command's forward headquarters is based in Qatar; Centcom polices no less than 27 countries from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia - what the Pentagon until recently defined as "the arc of instability". In sum: the GCC is like a US aircraft carrier in the Gulf magnified to Star Trek proportions.

I prefer to refer to the GCC as the Gulf Counter-revolution Club - due to its sterling performance in suppressing democracy in the Arab world, even before Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia over a year ago.

Cueing to Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, the Rosebud inside the GCC is that the House of Saud sells its oil only in US dollars - thus the pre-eminence of the petrodollar - and in exchange benefits from massive, unconditional US military and political support. Moreover the Saudis prevent the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - after all they're the world's largest oil producer - to price and sell oil in a basket of currencies. These rivers of petrodollars then flow into US equities and Treasury bonds.

For decades virtually the whole planet has been held hostage to this fatal attraction. Until now.

Gimme all your toys
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It's true that whoever dominates the GCC - with weapons and political support - projects power globally. The GCC has been absolutely key for US hegemony within what Immanuel Wallerstein defines as the world system.

Yet let's take a look at the numbers. Since last year Saudi Arabia is exporting more oil to China than to the US. This is part of an inexorable process of GCC energy and commodity exports moving to Asia.

By next year foreign assets held by the GCC could reach $3.8 trillion with oil at $70 a barrel. With all that non-stop "tension" in the Persian Gulf, there's no reason to believe oil will be below $100 in the foreseeable future. In this case GCC foreign assets could reach a staggering $5.7 trillion - that's 160% more than in pre-crisis 2008, and over $1 trillion more than China's foreign assets.

At the same time, China will be increasingly doing more business with the GCC. The GCC is increasingly importing more from Asia - although the top source of imports is still the European Union. Meanwhile, US-GCC trade is dropping. By 2025, China will be importing three times more oil from the GCC than the US. No wonder the House of Saud - to put it mildly - is terribly excited about Beijing.

So for the moment we have the pre-eminence of NATOGCC military, and USGCC geopolitically. But sooner rather than later Beijing may approach the House of Saud and quietly whisper, "Why don't you sell me your oil in yuan?" Just like China buying Iranian oil and gas with yuan. Petroyuan, anyone? Now that's an entirely new Star Trek.


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA20Ak02.html
Riaz Haq said…
China is the biggest trading partner of more nations than the US, reports AP:

In just five years, China has surpassed the United States as a trading partner for much of the world, including U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia, according to an Associated Press analysis of trade data. As recently as 2006, the U.S. was the larger trading partner for 127 countries, versus just 70 for China. By last year the two had clearly traded places: 124 countries for China, 76 for the U.S.



In the most abrupt global shift of its kind since World War II, the trend is changing the way people live and do business from Africa to Arizona, as farmers plant more soybeans to sell to China and students sign up to learn Mandarin.

The findings show how fast China has ascended to challenge America’s century-old status as the globe’s dominant trader, a change that is gradually translating into political influence. They highlight how pervasive China’s impact has been, spreading from neighboring Asia to Africa and now emerging in Latin America, the traditional U.S. backyard.

Despite China’s now-slowing economy, its share of world output and trade is expected to keep rising, with growth forecast at up to 8 percent a year over the next decade, far above U.S. and European levels. This growth could strengthen the hand of a new generation of just-named Chinese leaders, even as it fuels strain with other nations.
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The United States is still the world’s biggest importer, but China is gaining. It was a bigger market than the United States for 77 countries in 2011, up from 20 in 2000, according to the AP analysis.

The AP is using International Monetary Fund data to measure the importance of trade with China for some 180 countries and track how it changes over time. The analysis divides a nation’s trade with China by its gross domestic product.

The story that emerges is of China’s breakneck rise, rather than of a U.S. decline. In 2002, trade with China was 3 percent of a country’s GDP on average, compared with 8.7 percent with the U.S. But China caught up, and surged ahead in 2008. Last year, trade with China averaged 12.4 percent of GDP for other countries, higher than that with America at any time in the last 30 years.

Of course, not all trade is equal. China’s trade is mostly low-end goods and commodities, while the U.S. competes at the upper end of the market


http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/2012/12/02/impact-china-surpasses-top-global-trader/gwI1PLvAcDPSo90KjJgTUM/story.html
Riaz Haq said…
Mary Kay Magistad of NPR's The World reported that China has reacted strongly to the Pentagon report on China's military growth and modernization with its first aircraft carrier, several nuclear submarines and stealth aircraft.

Magistead reported that Xinhua has for the first time talked about China as a global economic power with global interests and it needs a blue water navy to protect a tremendous number of sea-lanes.

http://www.theworld.org/2013/05/pentagon-china-military/
Riaz Haq said…
WASHINGTON: The new China International Pay­ments System (CIPS), which is set to debut before the end of 2015, has been described as a “worldwide payments superhighway for the yuan.”

What the creation of such a system means in the short-term is that the Chinese currency (officially known as the renminbi) has the potential to become a truly international, convertible currency and a more attractive currency for conducting international trade and finance. What it means in the long-term is that America’s long reign of economic dominance is at risk.

Ever since the end of World War II, the dollar has been the bedrock of the international financial system. The rise of a competitor currency to challenge the dollar seems almost impossible. While the euro and the yen have emerged as possible options for supplanting the dollar, they have never had the global clout of the US dollar. China’s plans for the internationalisation of the renminbi, though, are a different matter entirely. Given the size and heft of China’s economy, it only makes sense that China is creating a global payments system to make it easier for people to trade, invest and conduct transactions using the renminbi.

One way to measure how important the Chinese currency has become worldwide is to look at the percentage of international trade finance deals that are conducted using the renminbi. On a global basis, the renminbi accounts for nearly 9 per cent of all trade finance deals worldwide, the second largest behind only the dollar. Moreover, as of January 2015, the renminbi is now the fifth most used payments currency in the world, trailing only the dollar, the euro, the pound sterling, and the yen.

According to Wim Raymaekers, head of banking markets at SWIFT, this is “an important milestone” that confirms the transition of the renminbi from an “emerging” to a “business as usual” payment currency.

One area where the launch of the new Chinese payments system could really have an impact is in the global energy markets. As a result of the so-called “petrodollar system” established between the US and Middle East oil producers, oil exports are priced and transacted in dollars.

Now imagine the price of oil being quoted in Chinese yuan and not US dollars. What if Saudi oil exporters decide they want yuan and not dollars for their oil? That means anyone buying or selling oil in commodity markets has to have a yuan bank account in addition to a dollar bank account. Given the voracious energy demands of China’s growing economy, it’s easy to see why a global payments system facilitating these trades makes sense.

Right now, of course, the renminbi does not pose a direct threat to the dollar. While 41pc of all global payments involve the dollar, only 2pc involve the renminbi. But think ahead a few years.

If the Chinese economy continues to grow, if plans continue to internationalise the renminbi, and if gridlock in Washington continues, it’s at least theoretically plausible that the renminbi could eventually supplant the dollar as the reserve currency of choice around the world. Especially since the investment theme of “de-dollarisation” has started to be picked up globally.

If the renminbi ever replaces the dollar, there are going to be effects felt from Wall Street to Main Street. For one, foreign investors won’t need to hold as many dollars since they’ll be conducting transactions in yuan instead.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1168964
Riaz Haq said…
The Obama administration accused the UK of a “constant accommodation” of China after Britain decided to join a new China-led financial institution that could rival the World Bank.
The rare rebuke of one of the US’s closest allies came as Britain prepared to announce that it will become a founding member of the $50bn Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, making it the first country in the G7 group of leading economies to join an institution launched by China last October.

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Thursday’s reprimand was a rare breach in the “special relationship” that has been a backbone of western policy for decades. It also underlined US concerns over China’s efforts to establish a new generation of international development banks that could challenge Washington-based global institutions. The US has been lobbying other allies not to join the AIIB.
Relations between Washington and David Cameron’s government have become strained, with senior US officials criticising Britain over falling defence spending, which could soon go below the Nato target of 2 per cent of gross domestic product.
A senior US administration official told the Financial Times that the British decision was taken after “virtually no consultation with the US” and at a time when the G7 had been discussing how to approach the new bank.
“We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power,” the US official said.
British officials were publicly restrained in criticising China over its handling of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests while Mr Cameron has made it clear he has no further plans to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader — after a 2012 meeting that prompted a furious response from Beijing.
While Beijing has long been suspicious about US influence over the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, China also believes that the US and Japan have too much control over the Manila-based Asian Development Bank. In addition to the AIIB, China is the driving force behind last year’s creation of a Brics development bank and is promoting a $40bn Silk Road Fund to finance economic integration with Central Asia.

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The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank is one of four institutions created or proposed by Beijing in what some see as an attempt to create a Sino-centric financial system to rival western dominated institutions set up after the second world war. The other institutions are: the New Development Bank, better known as the Brics bank, and a contingent reserve arrangement, seen as alternatives to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund; a proposed Development Bank of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, a six-country Eurasian political, economic and military grouping dominated by China and Russia.


http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/31c4880a-c8d2-11e4-bc64-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3UBLRoaEe
Riaz Haq said…
The Obama administration accused the UK of a “constant accommodation” of China after Britain decided to join a new China-led financial institution that could rival the World Bank.
The rare rebuke of one of the US’s closest allies came as Britain prepared to announce that it will become a founding member of the $50bn Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, making it the first country in the G7 group of leading economies to join an institution launched by China last October.

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Thursday’s reprimand was a rare breach in the “special relationship” that has been a backbone of western policy for decades. It also underlined US concerns over China’s efforts to establish a new generation of international development banks that could challenge Washington-based global institutions. The US has been lobbying other allies not to join the AIIB.
Relations between Washington and David Cameron’s government have become strained, with senior US officials criticising Britain over falling defence spending, which could soon go below the Nato target of 2 per cent of gross domestic product.
A senior US administration official told the Financial Times that the British decision was taken after “virtually no consultation with the US” and at a time when the G7 had been discussing how to approach the new bank.
“We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power,” the US official said.
British officials were publicly restrained in criticising China over its handling of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests while Mr Cameron has made it clear he has no further plans to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader — after a 2012 meeting that prompted a furious response from Beijing.
While Beijing has long been suspicious about US influence over the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, China also believes that the US and Japan have too much control over the Manila-based Asian Development Bank. In addition to the AIIB, China is the driving force behind last year’s creation of a Brics development bank and is promoting a $40bn Silk Road Fund to finance economic integration with Central Asia.

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The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank is one of four institutions created or proposed by Beijing in what some see as an attempt to create a Sino-centric financial system to rival western dominated institutions set up after the second world war. The other institutions are: the New Development Bank, better known as the Brics bank, and a contingent reserve arrangement, seen as alternatives to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund; a proposed Development Bank of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, a six-country Eurasian political, economic and military grouping dominated by China and Russia.


http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/31c4880a-c8d2-11e4-bc64-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3UBLRoaEe
Riaz Haq said…
#China's #Yuan joins #US $, #Euro #UK Pound, #Japan's Yen as #IMF Approves its Reserve-Currency status http://bloom.bg/1LIVdXQ via @business

The IMF will add the yuan to its basket of reserve currencies, an international stamp of approval of the strides China has made integrating into a global economic system dominated for decades by the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The International Monetary Fund’s executive board, which represents the fund’s 188 member nations, decided the yuan meets the standard of being “freely usable” and will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen in its Special Drawing Rights basket, the organization said Monday in a statement. Approval was expected after IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde announced Nov. 13 that her staff recommended inclusion, a position she supported.
It’s the first change in the SDR’s currency composition since 1999, when the euro replaced the deutsche mark and French franc. It’s also a milestone in a decades-long ascent toward international credibility for the yuan, which was created after World War II and for years could be used only domestically in the Communist-controlled nation. The IMF reviews the composition of the basket every five years and rejected the yuan during the last review, in 2010, saying it didn’t meet the necessary criteria.
“The renminbi’s inclusion in the SDR is a clear indication of the reforms that
have been implemented and will continue to be implemented and is a clear,
stronger representation of the global economy,” Lagarde said Monday during a press briefing at the IMF’s headquarters in Washington. Renminbi is the currency’s official name and means “the people’s currency” in Mandarin; yuan is the unit.
The Chinese Yuan’s Journey to Global Reserve Status: A Timeline
The addition will take effect Oct. 1, 2016, with the yuan having a 10.92 percent weighting in the basket, the IMF said. Weightings will be 41.73 percent for the dollar, 30.93 percent for the euro, 8.33 percent for the yen and 8.09 percent for the British pound. The dollar currently accounts for 41.9 percent of the basket, while the euro accounts for 37.4 percent, the pound 11.3 percent and the yen 9.4 percent.
The yuan weakened in offshore trading Tuesday amid speculation China’s central bank will rein in intervention now that the IMF vote on reserve-currency status is out of the way. The long-term goal is for very few interventions, People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Yi Gang said at a briefing, adding that bigger two-way fluctuations are normal.

In a preliminary report in July, IMF staff estimated the yuan would have a weight of about 14 percent to 16 percent. The weighting will affect the interest countries pay when they borrow from the IMF. It may also affect the scale of inflows the Chinese currency receives in the coming months.
Monetary System
The decision establishes the yuan as a fixture in the very international monetary system Chinese leaders criticized following the global financial crisis. In a landmark 2009 speech, PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan argued a global system so reliant on a single currency -- the U.S. dollar -- was inherently prone to shocks. That conviction set off a global push by China’s leaders, including now-President Xi Jinping, to have the yuan included in the SDR, which countries can use to supplement their currency reserves.
Riaz Haq said…
#China Creates a World Bank of Its Own, and the #US Balks http://nyti.ms/1XH1gIO

As top leaders met at a lush Bali resort in October 2013, President Xi Jinping of China described his vision for a new multinational, multibillion-dollar bank to finance roads, rails and power grids across Asia. Under Chinese stewardship, the bank would tackle the slow development in poor countries that was holding the region back from becoming the wealth center of the world.

Afterward, the United States secretary of state, John Kerry, caught up with Mr. Xi in the corridor. “That’s a great idea,” Mr. Kerry said of the bank, according to Chinese and American aides briefed on the encounter.

The enthusiasm didn’t last long, as the Obama administration began a rear-guard battle to minimize the bank’s influence.

The United States worries that China will use the bank to set the global economic agenda on its own terms, forgoing the environmental protections, human rights, anticorruption measures and other governance standards long promoted by its Western counterparts. American officials point to China’s existing record of loans to unstable governments, construction deals for unnecessary infrastructure, and villagers abruptly uprooted with little compensation.

But the administration suffered a humiliating diplomatic defeat last spring when most of its closest allies signed up for the bank, including Britain, Germany, Australia and South Korea. Altogether 57 countries have joined, leaving the United States and Japan on the outside.

The calculation for joining is simple. China, with its vast wealth and resources, now rivals the United States at the global economic table. That was confirmed this week when the International Monetary Fund blessed the Chinese renminbi as one of the world’s elite currencies, alongside the dollar, euro, pound and yen.

Countries are finding they must increasingly operate in China’s orbit. And backing the new bank would bring financial advantages, as well as curry favor with Beijing. While many countries had similar doubts as the United States, they figured they could just shape the organization from the inside.

The new bank “is an instrument for China to lend legitimacy to its international forays and to extend its sphere of economic and political influence even while changing the rules of the game,” said Eswar Prasad, former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund and a professor at Cornell University. “And it gives the existing institutions a kick in the pants.”
Riaz Haq said…
#China Creates a World Bank of Its Own, and the #US Balks http://nyti.ms/1XH1gIO Contd

The Chinese-led institution, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, is now in the process of picking its first projects. The choices, expected to be announced in coming months, will provide insight into how China plans to wield its power.

Either China is serious about taking a leadership role in the global economy and prioritizing projects that broadly benefit Asia, or it plans to use the bank as a conduit to further its own ambitions.

So far, China appears to be navigating the two extremes. It is assuaging critics by compromising on issues like board makeup, project oversight and procurement. But China is hardly yielding control, raising concerns about where the bank will land on issues like climate change and labor rights. The bank, for example, is still weighing whether to approve coal-fired power plants.

China is taking direct aim at the current development regime, the Bretton Woods system established under the leadership of the United States after World War II to help stabilize currencies and promote growth.

Beijing officials say they want to take a faster approach than their counterparts at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank. The new bank, China promises, will not be bogged down in oversight.

The Chinese-led bank will also focus solely on infrastructure. To China, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank failed to deliver on big projects meant to transform backward parts of Asia, resulting in an estimated $8 trillion of needed investment in rails, ports and power plants.

As a complement to the new bank, China is rolling out the “One Belt, One Road” program for the construction of a network of roads, rails and pipelines along the old Silk Road route through Central Asia to Europe. A maritime equivalent calls ports from Southeast Asia to East Africa to the Mediterranean.

“The U.S. risks forfeiting its international relevance while stuck in its domestic political quagmire,” Jin Liqun, the president-designate of China’s bank, wrote in a chapter for a recently released book, “Bretton Woods: The Next 70 Years.” He added, in reference to the United States, “History has never set any precedent that an empire is capable of governing the world forever.”

At the signing of the agreement for the bank in June, Mr. Jin and Mr. Xi posed for a photo alongside officials from the other 56 founding member nations in the Great Hall of the People.

An unexpectedly large group, it included countries as diverse as Iran and Israel, Russia and Poland, and an array of American friends. The total capital commitment, $100 billion, was double the amount originally envisioned.

Having underestimated the interest, the Obama administration is now starting to soften its stance. Three months after the signing, Mr. Xi met with President Obama at the White House, in the Chinese leader’s first state visit. At the summit meeting, Mr. Obama urged the existing banks to cooperate with the new institution. The United States, though, would still not join.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan, #China to trade in own currencies rupee and renminbi, not #US dollars or #Euro. #CPEC

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1220159/bilateral-commerce-pakistan-china-trade-local-currencies/

Standard Chartered has taken the lead in conducting a roadshow in Pakistan to inform businessmen that hurdles to trade with China in local currencies – Pakistani rupee and Chinese renminbi – have been razed.

Until now, the two countries were trading in dollars, which caused hurdles in the way of banking transactions for traders. The two nations signed a currency swap agreement a couple of years ago.

Standard Chartered Pakistan Chief Executive Officer Shazad Dada said they had a very fruitful meeting with the State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday morning. The central bankers pledged to facilitate trade in the two currencies.

The roadshow is held at a time when most banks in the two nations have yet to set up their branches in each other’s countries. However, Standard Chartered has branches in both the countries.

The roadshow is part of an international series, as the Greater China Region’s Standard Chartered has conducted similar shows in the Middle East and Africa in recent days.

China is now in agreement with eight countries to conduct trade in their local currencies. These include Pakistan, Hong Kong, the UAE and Qatar.

China has been conducting roadshows since its official currency renminbi was included in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) list of global currencies, effective from October 1, 2016. The IMF lends in SDR denomination to nations across the world.

This coincided with China’s on-going investment worth $46 billion in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Carmen Ling, the bank’s delegation lead to Pakistan and Managing Director, said the infrastructure had been laid to begin trade in local currencies. “Now, it all depends on how fast the requisite information is disseminated to businessmen.”

More than 60% of Standard Chartered’s market across Africa, Asia and the Middle East stand to benefit from the initiative. Twenty-five of the group’s 72 markets are in Africa and the Middle East.

The initiative could facilitate financing for Pakistan’s key infrastructure projects, while encouraging cross-border economic and trade partnerships, not only with China, but also with those markets positioned along the initiative, she added.


Riaz Haq said…
President #Trump: Replace The US $ With #Gold As The Global Currency To Make #America Great Again via @forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2017/02/25/president-trump-replace-the-dollar-with-gold-as-the-global-currency-to-make-america-great-again/#5936ed0a4d54

Inside President Trump’s otherwise “standard Trump stump speech” at CPAC was nestled what might be a most intriguing observation:

Global cooperation, dealing with other countries, getting along with other countries is good, it’s very important. But there is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency or a global flag. This is the United States of America that I’m representing.

There's a keen insight in there that could, just maybe, transform our lives, America, and the world. No "global currency?" Was this, with the poetic observation that “there is no such thing as a global anthem…or a global flag,” just a trope? Or could it contain a political portent with potential high impact on world financial markets? Let’s drill down.

As it happens, there is a global currency.

It’s called the "U.S. dollar.”

Most international trade is priced in dollars. The Bretton Woods international monetary system invested the dollar, which then was defined as and (internationally) was legally convertible to gold at $35/oz, with global currency status. France’s then-finance minister, later its president, ValĂ©ry Giscard d'Estaing, called the “reserve currency” status of the dollar -- its status, along with gold, as global currency -- an “exorbitant privilege.”

By this d'Estaing was alluding to the fact, as summarized at Wikipedia, that "As American economist Barry Eichengreen summarized: 'It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries had to pony up $100 of actual goods in order to obtain one.'" That privilege, which made great sense during the period immediately after World War II, became a curse.

In 1971 President Nixon, under the influence of his Svengali-like Treasury Secretary John Connally, "suspend[ed] temporarily the convertibility of the dollar into gold." That closure proved durable instead of temporary. The dollar became, and remains, the world's global currency.

What had been an “exorbitant privilege” devolved into an exorbitant liability. As my former professional colleague John D. Mueller, of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, formerly Rep. Jack Kemp's chief economist, writing in the Wall Street Journal in Trump's Real Trade Problem Is Money recently and astutely observed:

a monetary system based on a reserve currency is unsustainable, since foreign official dollar reserves (for example) are acquired and must be repaid in goods. In other words, the increase in official dollar reserves equals the net exports of the rest of the world, which means it must also equal U.S. international payments deficits—an unsustainable situation.

In other words, if President Trump wishes to address America’s merchandise trade deficit (balanced to perfection, of course, by a capital accounts surplus) he will find that allowing the dollar to be used as the global currency is the real snake in the economic woodpile. The dollar’s burden as the international reserve currency, not currency manipulation by our trading partners or bad treaties, is the true villain in the ongoing melodrama of crummy job creation.

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