China is expected to soon issue a policy facilitating settlement in yuan for trade between Hong Kong and the mainland, the country's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said here Friday.
"It won't be long before the policy can be made public," Zhou, head of the People's Bank of China, told a press conference here on the sideline of the parliament's annual session.
Zhou said there are no major technical difficulties in realizing the settlement of HK-mainland trade in yuan because banks are already operating with multiple currencies, while payment systems accommodating mainland tourists using yuan had been operating on a tentative base since 2003.
What remains to be done is only a few finetunes on the transaction systems of banks and regulating policies, said Zhou.
China's State Council, or the Cabinet, announced last December to settle trade in yuan between Guangdong, the Yangtze River Delta and Hong Kong and Macao, and that between Guangxi, Yunnan and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on a trial basis.
Trade between Hong Kong and the mainland reached 197.25 billion U.S. dollars last year, an increase of 18.7 percent from the previous year. The biggest amount of trade is reported between Hong Kong and mainland provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Beijing Municipality.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday in his government work report the mainland would accelerate the trial operation of settling trade in yuan with Hong Kong and Macao this year.
(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2009)