LA PAZ (Reuters) – Bolivia’s president expressed his openness to the use of the Chinese yuan for international trade during a press conference on Wednesday, citing similar moves by Argentina and Brazil to tap into the Asian currency for transactions with China.
International trade transactions tend to be quoted in US dollars, especially for major commodity markets like energy and grains, for decades.
“The two largest economies in the region are already trading in yuan in deals with China, and that is going to be the trend in the region,” Arce said, adding that the South American country could not afford to be left out.
The Argentine government announced last month that it will begin paying for Chinese imports in yuan instead of US dollars, largely to safeguard the central bank’s dwindling dollar reserves needed to service debt and finance imports.
Earlier this year, China and Brazil took steps to reduce the dominance of the dollar by signing an agreement to establish yuan offsetting agreements that can facilitate bilateral trade.
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“In Latin America we have always had a great influence from the United States… but today many countries have more foreign trade with China. Things are changing,” Arce said.
(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by David Alire Garcia)
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