BEIJING: The Chinese renminbi (RMB) is making steady progress in becoming a more widely used currency in the global economy, according to a report released by People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
One of the most notable trends highlighted in the 2023 report on Chinese RMB internationalization is the increased use of the currency in trade and investment. In 2022, banks handled 42.1 trillion yuan ($5.14 trillion) in cross-border yuan payments, up 15.1 percent year-on-year.
In the first nine months of 2023, cross-border RMB payments reached 38.9 trillion yuan, up 24 percent year-on-year. Of that, almost a quarter was used for trade settlements, the highest level in recent years.
The report also showed that the RMB’s function as a financing currency has been built upon. A number of policies have been introduced to support the issuance of RMB bonds by foreign institutions in China and the lending of yuan by domestic banks to overseas entities.
At the end of 2022, the total amount of outstanding international RMB-denominated debt securities was $173.3 billion, up 2 places on the rank, to seventh globally, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
SWIFT data showed that the RMB’s share of global trade finance was 3.91 percent at the end of 2022, up 1.9 percentage points year-on-year, ranking third. In September 2023, the currency’s share of global trade finance rose to 5.8 percent, up 1.6 percentage points year-on-year, ranking second.
Overseas yuan markets have also become more active. In 2022, the PBOC signed a standing swap agreement with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and expanded the size of the currency swap, further deepening financial cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.
A 2022 survey by the BIS showed that the RMB’s share of global foreign exchange trading has grown from 4.3 percent to 7 percent in the past three years, climbing up on the rank from the eighth to fifth place.
The PBOC said it will continue to promote the orderly internationalization of the RMB and better meet the needs of business entities using the currency in cross-border trade and investment.