The globalization of RMB has become a common concern for the international community, particularly the friends of the finance circle. What you care most is whether China has formulated a timetable for the globalization of RMB. I want to share with you my view on that matter. The Globalization of RMB mainly refers to the cross-border use of RMB in trade and investment. After the outbreak of financial crisis in 2008, many people lose their confidence in the current international currency system and start to trade with RMB. This has given RMB a good opportunity toward its globalization.
At present, RMB becomes increasingly popular in Chinese government’s foreign trade. According to the data from People’s Bank of China in 2103, the RMB’s cross-border settlement amount came to 5.6 trillion Yuan, an increase of 61 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year. In addition to that, the founding of Shanghai self-trade zone also became the driving force for its globalization. We can say that RMB is rapidly becoming a global currency. However, it is worth note that RMB has only a short history for its globalization. It has a relatively low base that makes its growth look dramatic. In fact, the rate for its usage in international trade and investment is still relatively low.
I believe that what China needs to do at this stage is not to promote the use of RMB, but to create a favorable environment for its globalization. We should respect the choice of the participants of the market on whether they use RMB or not. In recent years, the Chinese government is trying to lift the unnecessary legal restrictions on the use of RMB. We are steady promoting the conversion of RMB under the capital accounts, which will increase the confidence of the international community.
In general, we must realize that it takes a long process before RMB becomes a global currency, particularly in trade and investment. It also takes time for RMB to have the salient increase cross-border trade. This process can hardly be expedited. Therefore, I want to make clear that China does not have a time-table for RMB’s globalization. But I believe that, with the further development of China’s reform and opening up and its economy connected more tightly with global economy, the globalization of RMB will accelerate and the process will be irreversible.