Rise of the Chinese Influence Strengthens RMB Demand
Bold initiatives and investments paint a rosy picture for RMB internationalisation
SWIFT has released the June 2019 special edition of its RMB Tracker, which studies the latest trends that are influencing the rate of RMB growth in China and globally.
China’s re-emergence as an economic superpower has been credited with driving RMB internationalisation. This is summed up across four trends:
- The shift of China’s economy to consumption and services
- The emergence of the ‘new economy’
- The rise of the middle class
- The liberalisation of China’s current and capital accounts
Other key findings reported in the RMB tracker, include:
- In April 2019, the RMB’s share of international payments currently sits at 1.88%. Looking at cross-border payments, and excluding intra-Eurozone payments, the figure falls even lower to 1.20%.
- There was a surge in payments traffic to and from China with some countries along the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ between 2014 and 2018. For example, Hungary, Turkey and Uzbekistan saw increases of 242%, 35% and 170% respectively during this period. Over the same period, in South East Asia, Singapore has experienced payment traffic growth with China of 231%, and Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are also reaping the benefits of the BRI.
- Africa’s adoption of the RMB appears to be increasing. The total payments in all currencies from China to Africa increased by 67.05% in Q1 2019 compared with Q1 2016. But, the amount of RMB used increased by 53.48%.
- RMB payments from Africa into China have also grown. The total across all currencies shows a healthy increase of 27.76%. But, during the same period, the proportion of RMB used for payments increased by a staggering 123.01%.
The RMB tracker also carries a contribution from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), which discusses the current world economic climate and its impact on the RMB.
 All statistics and charts in this report are referenced from SWIFT BI Watch; and are drawn from full-year 2018 data or Q1 2019