Business / Economy

Renminbi to play key role in ASEAN trade, investment

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-15 09:54

KUALA LUMPUR - China's renminbi will play a key role in facilitating trade and investment in Southeast Asia as the region is eyeing for further development after the establishment of economic community this year, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Tuesday.

The renminbi "is increasingly recognized as a major global trade settlement currency," Najib said. "Stable and internationally recognized currencies will be crucial to facilitate the accelerated trade and investment activities that should follow the community's creation."

Malaysia is holding the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2015. The 10-country bloc is due to establish the Economic Community by the end of the year. Najib said ASEAN have the potential to be one of the largest integrated economic groupings and markets in the world.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of Renminbi Clearing Bank in Malaysia, Najib said his country is willing to promote the Chinese currency in the region.

"As ASEAN is one of China's largest trading partners, the Renminbi has a key role to play, and we anticipate Malaysia becoming a major offshore Renminbi clearing center to facilitate direct trade settlement within the region, which could drastically lower transaction costs and benefit both China and ASEAN,"he said.

The Malaysian prime minister said the establishment of Renminbi Clearing Bank in Malaysia will further enhance Malaysia-China relations, which he described as"has never been better."

Najib stressed his country's support to China's efforts to promote an inclusive regional growth agenda through a series of initiatives, including the Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank, of which Malaysia is a founding member, as well as the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

"Both of them are expected to increase investment flows into the ASEAN region,"he said.

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