China has fundamentally changed its approach towards RMB internationalisation, according to BNP Paribas China’s chief China economist, XD Chen.Speaking at a briefing in New York today, Chen explained that for the past five years the authorities in China had one main policy stance regarding the renminbi: to promote the internationalisation of the currency.However, he then added: “But now this policy stance, in our observation and together with our policy consultation, is no longer. In other words, they’re not going to use the government’s force to promote renminbi internationalisation, instead they will follow market forces.”
The Chinese authorities face a range of challenges as they seek to protect the economy in the face of downward RMB pressure.
In 2016 the Chinese authorities are assumed to have intervened in the currency markets, not in order to depreciate the RMB but actually to maintain the value of the currency.
“The consensus from economists is that there’s going to be downward pressure on the RMB,” noted Shawn Baldwin, chairman of AIA Group, on the opening panel at Profit & Loss Shanghai.