Prospects for the Internationalization of the Chinese Currency
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Publication date: 2014-02-28
GNPJE 2014;269(1):5-31
The article examines the prospects for the international use of the Chinese yuan, a currency otherwise known as the renminbi. The author looks at whether or not the yuan stands a chance of becoming an international currency and identifies the key barriers to the process. Skopiec highlights the criteria of national currency internationalization and evaluates their fulfillment in the case of China. The study also discusses the costs and benefits of currency internationalization and their role in determining China’s strategy to turn the yuan into an international currency. The methods applied by the author include a literature study and an analysis of China’s macroeconomic variables as well as statistical data on the international use of the yuan. The author argues that the yuan cannot be classified as an international currency at the moment because its use is limited in terms of the different functions of international money. Moreover, China does not meet several crucial currency internationalization criteria, Skopiec notes, in particular those related to the free flow of capital, the scope of currency convertibility, the type of exchange rate system, and the level of financial market development. The author concludes that the yuan is currently viewed as a potential international currency and one that is poised to become a key currency in the long run provided China carries out a string of reforms. These include the adoption of a new growth model (based on an increased share of consumption and services in GDP), financial system development (through interest rate liberalization and abandonment of restrictions that excessively curb the freedom of financial market operations) and the introduction of a more flexible exchange rate regime.
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