Yuan plays greater trade role

The yuan is expected to play a greater role in trade settlement with half of China's trade with emerging markets amounting to US$2 trillion by 2015, says a senior HSBC official.

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Renminbi-denominated transactions are growing at a fast clip with the yuan accounting for around 18% of trade with Chinese companies at the moment, up from 3% in 2010.

The global bank forecasts more than 30% of Chinese trade will be settled in yuan over the next five years, said Wei Wei Ng, head of HSBC's global trade and receivables business in Asia Pacific.

China's currency in December overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance after the dollar.

Asian intra-trade represents 50% of the regional total trade. Asean trade totalled $2.4 trillion in 2012 and the region's intra-trade represented 24%. Asean-China trade also grew 24% on average during 2000-2009 representing 43% of Asean trade in 2009.

Given both the higher role of the renminbi and rising Asian intra-trade, the bank encourages Asian business operators to pay more attention to yuan-based trade to cope with the trend.

HSBC also urged Asean to develop innovation and technology in order to improve value chain and produce more advanced technology products to sharpen the competitiveness of emerging countries in the global market amid higher labour costs, she said.

The region's trade is expected to continue to rise, reflected in an increase in the bank's confidence survey conducted in the second half last year.

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