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China to launch pilot program of trade settlement with yuan
Updated: 2009-01-07 12:56

China's central bank said on Tuesday it plans to implement a pilot program of settling overseas trade with the Chinese currency instead of the US dollar in 2009.

According to a press release posted on the website of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank will expand financial cooperation with overseas economies and properly deal with the global financial crisis.

"We'll actively join international efforts to tackle the global financial crisis while safeguarding national interests," said the PBOC.

It pledged to implement the pilot programs of settling foreign trade with the Chinese currency, a State Council decision announced last month.

China will allow the yuan, or renminbi, to be used for settlement between Guangdong province and the Yangtze River Delta, China's two economic powerhouses, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao, the central bank said.

Meanwhile, exporters in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Yunnan province of southwestern China will be allowed to use renminbi to settle trade payments with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members in 2009.

Those moves are expected to facilitate overseas trade, as Chinese exporters might face losses if they continue to be paid in US dollars, analysts said. The dollar's exchange rate has become more volatile amid the global financial crisis.

The PBOC said it will make the exchange rate of renminbi more flexible and keep it "basically stable at a reasonable, balanced level".

There has been speculation that the yuan's appreciation will slow down, which will help Chinese exports maintain price advantages in overseas markets.

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