Top 5 countries opting to ditch US dollar & the reasons behind their move

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
By Paul Martin

RT.com
2 Jan, 2019

The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.
Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar.

RT has taken a deeper look into the recent phenomena of de-dollarization, summing up which countries have taken steps towards eliminating their reliance on the greenback, and the reasons behind their decision.

China
The ongoing trade conflict between the United States and China, as well as sanctions against Beijing’s biggest trading partners have forced China to take steps towards relieving the dollar dependence of the world’s second-largest economy.

In Beijing’s signature soft-power style, the government hasn’t made any loud announcements on the issue. However, the People’s Bank of China has been regularly reducing the country’s share of US Treasuries. Still the number-one foreign holder of the US sovereign debt, China has cut its share to the lowest level since May 2017.

Moreover, instead of promptly dumping the greenback, China is trying to internationalize its own currency, the yuan, which was included in the IMF basket alongside the US dollar, the Japanese yen, the euro, and the British pound. Beijing has recently made several steps towards strengthening the yuan, including accumulating gold reserves, launching yuan-priced crude futures, and using the currency in trade with international partners.

As part of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is planning to introduce swap facilities in participating countries to promote the use of the yuan. Moreover, the country is actively pushing for a free-trade agreement called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which will include the countries of Southeast Asia. The trade pact could easily replace the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposed multi-national trade deal which was torn up by US President Donald Trump shortly after he took office. RCEP includes 16 country signatories and the potential pact is expected to form a union of nearly 3.4 billion people based on a combined $49.5 trillion economy, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP.

India
Ranked the world’s sixth-largest economy, India is one of the biggest merchandise importers. It’s not surprising that the country is directly affected by most global geopolitical conflicts and is significantly impacted by sanctions applied to its trading partners.

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