Argentina’s economy minister Felipe Massa told a news conference Wednesday that he would start paying for imports from China in yuan instead of US dollars, a move aimed at easing the country’s dwindling dollar reserves, Reuters and the Buenos Aires Herald reported. Chinese Ambassador to Argentina Zou Xiaoli was invited to attend the press conference.
Mr Massa said Argentina would use renminbi this month to pay for the equivalent of about $1.04bn worth of Chinese imports after striking deals with various companies.
The use of RMB can speed up the pace of imports of Chinese goods to Argentina in the coming months, and the relevant authorization will be more efficient. Import orders paid for in yuan will be approved within 90 days instead of the usual 180.
Argentina is also expected to use renminbi to pay for Chinese imports worth between $790m and $1bn starting in May.
In addition, Mr Massa emphasised that using the renminbi would boost Argentina’s expectations of net foreign exchange reserves and also bring greater freedom.
In January, Argentina’s central bank said Argentina and China had formally expanded a currency swap agreement that would strengthen Argentina’s already Rmb130billion in foreign exchange reserves and activate a discretionary quota of Rmb35 billion
Indeed, a growing number of countries have announced that they are moving away from the dollar and settling in their own currencies. Some analysts believe that the hegemony of the dollar may not change in the short term, but the trend of “de-dollarization” of the world is bound to become more and more obvious.
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