Guyana was one of several countries which participated in a conference to discuss the use of the Chinese Renminbi currency in Caricom countries. Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan represented Guyana at the conference. The conference, which was held at the Hilton Resort Barbados on July 10, was facilitated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The conference was centered around discussing the deepening investment cooperation between China and the Caribbean, and how the use of the Renminbi could enhance trade facilitation, finance, banking relationships, and tourism.
During his weekly post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said that Cabinet was briefed by the Finance Minister, on the outcomes of the conference.
Cabinet was informed that the focus of the conference was that where there is a large Chinese presence in any of the CARICOM States, the bilateral arrangements between that state and China will be easier facilitated by the Renminbi, the Minister of State noted.
Minister Harmon, however said that while this move was not approved, it is the direction in which Caribbean countries will go in the near future. “This is just the preliminary stage. This is a conference to look at the issue and at an appropriate time once a decision is made, then the details will be fleshed out,” Minister Harmon explained.
Renminbi is now an International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve currency. As an IMF reserve currency, the Renminbi is now in the IMF’s special drawing rights (SDR) basket, which determines currencies that countries can receive as part of IMF loans. The other currencies in the basket are the U.S. dollar, the Euro, the Yen and British pound.