17 March 2017

Africa: Exchange Rate - China Vows Not to Devalue Yuan

Prime Minister Li Keqiang on March 15, 2017 addressed a press conference in the capital, Beijing.

In spite of recent challenges with the exchange rate of the Chinese currency, the Yuan, against the US Dollar, the authorities have vowed not to devalue it. Speaking in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on March 15, 2017, at the end of this year's sessions in the two Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Li Keqiang also said there were no plans to engage in any trade war with America. "We will follow the market exchange regime or floating rate, thereby contributing to the stability of the global financial system," the Premier assured. He said the Yuan already had its place in the international currency system and was likely to remain stable. Li Keqiang noted that China's foreign reserves were quite sufficient, thus there was no need to worry about the stability of the economy. Reviewing some of the key achievements of government in the past four years of the current five-year mandate, the PM said macro-economic reforms were introduced, resulting in the creation of almost 50 million urban jobs. Secondly, he said the economy now enjoys medium-level growth. "However," he pointed out, "we need to further reduce bureaucracy and act in the general interest of the people." He restated the resolve of government to pursue reforms by focusing on poverty alleviation, urban renewal and improvement of the people's living standards. "China recently moved up 11 points on the Doing Business Index. We are opening up 11 free trade zones as part of measures to further liberalise trade," he explained. China has a labour force of 800 million, with over 170 million people having received higher education. Government needs to continue to harness all these potentials for more growth, he noted. The Prime Minister disclosed that government in 2016 cut overcapacity in steel and coal production by laying off 700,000 workers. "Assistance is needed for one million former workers - including those laid off in 2016. The central government, which is already doing something, has requested local governments to also provide support as these former workers seek to convert to other jobs," Li Keqiang explained.

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