The RMB’s Long Road to Internationalization

09/22/2014
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Key Points• Chinese authorities have used Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center to promote the use of the RMB abroad. Hong Kong is the oldest and largest market for offshore RMB transactions, and will remain so despite the emergence of several other offshore contenders. • To date, RMB internationalization efforts have involved three main channels: offshore RMB deposit accounts and bonds, use of the RMB for cross-border trade settlement, and establishment of RMB swap lines between the People’s Bank of China and other central banks. • Despite growth in onshore and offshore use, the RMB cannot become a true international currency until Chinese authorities liberalize China’s capital account, allowing for unrestrained movement of financial flows.

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Economics