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HARBIN, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and China should more actively use their national currencies in mutual transactions, Russian trade commissioner in China Alexei Gruzdev told Itar-Tass on Tuesday after a financial forum organized by Russia’s Sberbank within the framework of the Russian-Chinese EXPO.
“The role of the two countries’ banking institutions in backing bilateral trade and serving contract deals is growing,” he said. “This subject [transactions in national currencies - Itar-Tass] was widely highlighted last year; efforts are being taken to involve more banking institutions from both Russia and China in this work. The share of the yuan-rouble settlements is steadily growing, and in this context, the experience of the province Heilongjiang is most exemplary.”
This province, according to the Russian trade commissioner, is the leader in terms of making settlements in the Russian and Chinese national currencies. “Along with taking part in interbank settlement, Bank of Harbin is authorized to execute trans-border cash movements, which is very important in border trade,” Gruzdev noted. “So, we plan to consolidate success and take active steps to involve more institutions in these services.”
Gruzdev stressed that communication with representatives of the business community demonstrated that “this sphere [transactions in national currencies] is very interesting to them.” “It will help avoid extra losses in currency conversion, so they are interested in favourable conditions for the use of the rouble and yuan in mutual transactions,” he stressed.
“Last year, the share [of mutual settlements in the bilateral trade] increased although it is inconsiderable if we speak about the overall trade turnover,” he noted. “Whereas in 2012, according to our estimates, the share of mutual settlements in roubles and yuans was slightly more than four percent, in 2013, it reached 6.8% In border territories, this share is, of course, higher - last year it neared 19% So, the tendency in general is rather good.”
Trade turnover between Russia and China in 2014 is expected to reach 95 billion U.S. dollars.