Belt and Road Initiative beneficial to RMB internationalization: report

Updated 2017-07-29 17:55:11 Xinhua

The Belt and Road Initiative has driven the global adoption of the renminbi, despite a decline in usage of the currency in international payments, according to a report Friday.

The report was released by SWIFT, a global member-owned cooperative that provides financial messaging services.

SWIFT ranked the RMB as the sixth international payment currency, with the proportion of international currency payments denominated in RMB falling from 2.09 percent in June 2015 to 1.98 percent this June, indicating a slowdown in RMB internationalization.

Despite the decline, the report noted the Belt and Road Initiative, among five prominent factors, supported a positive outlook for the internationalization of RMB.

The four other factors were China's Cross-border Interbank Payments System, Hong Kong's role as an essential RMB intermediator, relaxation of capital market controls and the contribution of financial technology such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

"This report offers a fresh look at RMB internationalization. Broader connectivity to RMB markets is becoming essential," said Alain Raes, head of the EMEA and Asia Pacific region at SWIFT.

As of this month, 16 Chinese commercial banks have joined the SWIFT global payments innovation, to offer faster, more transparent and traceable cross-border payments.

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