Russia & China preparing to ditch dollar for national currencies in trade – top official

Russia & China preparing to ditch dollar for national currencies in trade – top official
Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development said on Thursday that Moscow and Beijing are working on an inter-governmental agreement to boost the use of the ruble and yuan in mutual trade settlements.

“The document is currently being prepared, the process is not easy,” said Deputy Minister of Russia’s Economic Development Sergey Gorkov, as quoted by TASS. “Russia and China have had some experience of using national currencies in bilateral trade.”

Gorkov added that Russia and China have been successfully implementing the terms of ruble-yuan currency swap agreement, clinched in 2014 to boost trade using national currencies and eliminate dependence on the dollar and the euro. The deal was extended at the end of 2017.

The deputy minister didn’t provide information about when the new document will be signed.

Trade turnover between Russia and China has grown significantly over the recent years. The volume of mutual trade between the nations rose by 30 percent, reaching $77 billion from January to September, according to the latest data from China’s General Administration of Customs.

China is Russia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 15 percent of Russian international trade in 2017. The countries expect bilateral trade to hit $100 billion this year and plan to steadily boost it to $200 billion by 2024.

Last year, nine percent of payments for supplies from Russia to China were made in rubles; Russian companies paid 15 percent of Chinese imports in yuan. Three years ago, those numbers were two and nine percent, respectively. Moreover, China and Russia also created a Russian-Chinese investment fund worth 68 billion yuan (some $10 billion) to develop trade, economic investment, and scientific cooperation.

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