ASEAN consider inclusion of local currencies in trades to kill US dollar

TEHRAN, Apr. 28 (MNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its East Asian partners are considering the ways to add local currencies to their financial transactions to reduce reliance on the US dollar and maybe kill it softly over time.

The 10 members of the association along with China, Japan and South Korea, in their summit earlier this month, announced that they have devised a specific plan to include local currencies in their financial transactions to reduce Asia's reliance on the US dollar.

According to a report by business journal Nikkei Asian Review, the association members are set to add Chinese and Japanese currencies to their $240 billion currency swap safety net.

The representatives of the 13 countries will discuss the proposed change to the so-called Chiang Mai Initiative at a May 2 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Fiji.

The Initiative, which was established in 2000, is aimed at preventing a repeat of the 1997 Asian currency crisis. Under its framework, countries in financial trouble can access a pool of dollars that can be sold to prop up a falling currency, though it has yet to be used.

Allowing participants to access Asian currencies in an emergency could encourage their use, including in foreign exchange reserves.

The idea of moving away from the dollar in global trade has become a trend lately among countries including Russia, China, Japan, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, and others.

The move will strongly back China’s push for internationalizing the yuan and expanding its economic influence in the region.

In 2016, the yuan was included in the Special Drawing Right (SDR) basket alongside the US dollar, the Japanese yen, the euro, and the British pound. The move granted the yuan the status of a reserve currency.

Beijing has been actively seeking to boost the use of its currency in mutual trade settlements with partners, bypassing the US dollar.

The governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Mark Carney, said recently the greenback may one day be rivaled by the Chinese renminbi, which is likely to become a major global reserve currency. He was echoed by strategists and economists who say the global importance of the yuan seems destined to rise as flows in the currency will grow over the long term if Beijing continues to gradually open its financial system.

MR/IRN83294409/RT

News Code 144600

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