As many as six Chinese regions, including Guangdong, Shanghai, Guangxi, Yunnan, Hong Kong and Macao are competing to begin a pilot program that allows the yuan to be used as the settlement currency in some regional trade, local media reported.
The Shenzhen-based Security Times, citing Guangdong province Governor Huang Huahua, said the local government is seeking the central government's approval to start the yuan settlement in its foreign goods trade. Huang made the statement in a press briefing during the second session of the annual parliament meeting.
In early February, Shanghai said it had submitted the application for renminbi settlement in foreign trade.
China's State Council, or the Cabinet, announced plans in December 2008 to begin yuan settlement trials with some economies. The program would permit Yunnan and Guangxi to use the yuan in trade settlement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Pearl and Yangtze River delta regions would also be permitted to use yuan for settlement of trade with Hong Kong and Macao.
At a press conference Friday at the ongoing National People's Congress, central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan confirmed the pilot program would start soon.
Most of the competing provinces are located in China's southeastern seaside, where foreign trade is very active. The renminbi settlement is expected to bring more business to its financial service industry.