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China's Yuan to Go Global "at Right Time": Wen

03-20 11:39 Caijing
China needs steady economic development, a stable financial system and strong regulations to make the yuan freely convertible

Chinese currency, the yuan, will be freely convertible "at the right time," Premier Wen Jiabao told a forum of policymakers, business leaders and academics on Monday, while signally ways to internationalize the yuan.

The government is pushing forward innovations and regulations to make the yuan float more freely, the official China Daily reported, quoting Wen.

"The direction of our economic reform and polices will not change, nor stop," Wen said.

China needs steady economic development, a stable financial system and strong regulations to make the yuan freely convertible, he said, when answering questions from Peter Sands, StanChart chief executive.

He also said that the yuan, or renminbi, still had to win enough credit from the global community.

"China's yuan will inevitably become a unit of international exchange but the timing for when the currency becomes freely convertible cannot be easily judged", the premier said.

The yuan reached 6.31 per U.S. dollar on Monday, the strongest since March 9. China revalued the yuan from a U.S. dollar peg to allow the currency to fluctuate versus a basket of currencies, and the yuan has appreciated about 30 percent ever since.

China Daily also quoted Yu Yongding, an economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, at the forum that "it is a perfect time now to make the yuan exchange rate more flexible and push forward the financial system reforms."

Premier Wen has also said China will expand cross-border trade settlements in yuan nationwide, and launch a pilot scheme overseas in his government work report during the nation's annual parliamentary sessions earlier this month.

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