RMB to bolster Bangladesh economic ties with China, says experts, officials

2021-01-13 13:36:04 GMT2021-01-13 21:36:04(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

DHAKA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- As China and Bangladesh share close economic ties, officials and experts believe it will be mutually beneficial for the two countries to establish some forms of currency cooperation mechanisms at an early date.

The Chinese renminbi, or RMB, proves itself remarkably stable and resilient amid adverse and uncertain economic conditions, including during the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the global financial crisis in 2008, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming wrote in a special OP-ED article carried by Bangladesh's leading English newspaper Daily Sun on Tuesday.

He noted the Chinese currency in recent years witnessed a steady increase of its share in the international transactions used by businesses globally despite headwinds from the ongoing trade tensions and unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Li's article came amid calls by local experts and officials for Bangladesh to hold and use more RMB to bolster its economic ties with China and other Belt and Road Initiative participating countries.

Rehman Sobhan, chairman of the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a leading Bangladeshi think tank, is among the local experts and officials who have stressed the need for constituting a part of Bangladesh's reserves with RMB, saying "Bangladesh should make more active use of the RMB."

In a recent webinar organized by the think tank, he said China's enormous development has stimulated growth across the Asian region, and urged the central bank of Bangladesh and the finance ministry to consider introducing RMB as a trading currency.

Mahbub-Ur Rahman, chief executive officer at HSBC Bangladesh, said, "Using RMB as the trading currency in both import and export will be the trend for Bangladesh" and "the regional currency cooperation will help the rise of the export from Bangladesh to China."

Experts here also said it is high time for the Bangladeshi government to go for direct communication with the China Development Bank (CDB) and avail the opportunity of using more RMB loans for mega Bangladesh products.

Ambassador Li said that on the markets, the RMB has quickly stabilized compared with other major currencies that are seeing significant drops in value.

His latest article titled "China's RMB in a More Diversified Global Economy" pointed out that as the world slowly moves away from an excessive reliance on the U.S. dollars, the Chinese currency is playing a more important role in a more diversified global economy.

In recent years, according to the Chinese diplomat, there has been steady progress in the bilateral currency cooperation between China and its partners, as well as the use of the RMB in areas, including cross-border payment, international financing, denomination and reserve.

Against this backdrop, he said it will be mutually beneficial for Bangladesh and China to establish some forms of currency cooperation mechanisms at an early date.

"As the USD hegemony will foreseeably weaken in a post-COVID, multi-polar world, I believe it is safe to say that whoever starts to invest in the RMB is banking on the promising future of a more balanced and diversified global economy," wrote Li. Enditem