Pakistan allows use of Chinese yuan for trade and investment

Both public and private sector enterprises may use the yuan for bilateral trade and investment, the central State Bank of Pakistan. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018

Pakistan allows use of Chinese yuan for trade and investment

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will allow the Chinese yuan to be used for imports, exports and financing transactions for bilateral trade and investment activities, in a move economists said Wednesday would simplify a massive Chinese investment project.
Both public and private sector enterprises may use the yuan for bilateral trade and investment, the central State Bank of Pakistan said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“As per current foreign exchange regulations, Chinese Yuan (CNY) is an approved foreign currency for denominating foreign currency transactions in Pakistan,” it said.
“In terms of regulations in Pakistan, CNY is at par with other international currencies such as USD, Euro and JPY,” it added.
The bank said that in light of a massive Chinese infrastructure project in Pakistan, the move would “yield long-term benefits for both the countries.”
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $54 billion (SR202.50 billion) project launched in 2013 linking western China to the Indian Ocean via Pakistan, has been hailed as a “game changer” by Pakistani officials.
They hope the power stations and transmission lines built as part of the project will help ease Pakistan’s chronic power crisis.
Economic analyst and former government adviser on finance Salman Shah welcomed the State Bank’s move, saying that avoiding dollar transactions in the implementation of CPEC would “simplify matters very considerably.”
The Chinese economy is now one of the biggest in the world, he said, justifying the use of the Chinese currency of choice.


Pakistan’s central bank keeps key policy rate unchanged at 13.25%

Updated 9 min 59 sec ago

Pakistan’s central bank keeps key policy rate unchanged at 13.25%

  • SBP keeps the GDP growth forecast unchanged at 3.5 percent and inflation at 11-12 percent for FY20
  • The key policy rate was last raised in July 2019 after the country secured $6 billion IMF bailout package

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 13.25 percent, saying the projection for average inflation for FY20 broadly remained unchanged at 11-12 percent and maintaining the current monetary policy stance was appropriate for the country.
The central bank had previously raised the key policy rate back in July after the country secured $6 billion bailout program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The decision reflected the Monetary Policy Committee’s view that recent developments have had offsetting implications for the inflation outlook,” the bank said in a statement. “On the one hand, recent inflation outturns have been on the higher side. On the other, the causes behind these outturns have primarily been increases in food prices which are expected to be temporary.”
The SBP believes that inflation, which is at the higher side at present due to rise in food prices, will cool down over the next two years. 
“The MPC [Monetary Policy Committee] noted that recent outturns of month-on-month inflation had been higher than in previous months and if sustained could affect inflation expectations,” the statement added. “Nevertheless, in light of the temporary nature of these increases, continued softness in domestic demand, and recent appreciation of the currency on the back of improving market sentiment, the MPC was of the view that inflationary pressures were expected to recede in the second half of the fiscal year.”=
The central bank kept its projection for GDP growth for FY20 unchanged at around 3.5 percent as the recent economic data suggest that economic activity is strengthening in export oriented and import competing sectors while inward oriented sectors continue to experience a slowdown in activity.