For Brazil’s central bank chief Henrique Meirelles, a stronger Chinese currency is “critical” for the good of the global economy. And he said that on Tuesday, April 20, joining a chorus of critics of China’s foreign exchange policy.
Speculation that China may soon revalue its currency and unveil a long-awaited shift in its exchange rate has intensified in recent weeks, and the Yuan is likely to figure in discussions at this week’s Group of 20 meeting of finance officials in Washington.
“I think it’s absolutely critical for the equilibrium of the world economy,” Meirelles said when asked by a Senator what the impact would be if China re-valued its currency.
Meirelles was speaking to the Senate’s Economic Affairs committee before traveling to Washington where the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will also be held.
“There are some distortions in world markets, one of them is a lack of growth and another is China” Meirelles said.
“China’s exchange rate is the result of the country’s big savings … this generates distortions for China itself.”
China has been under pressure from the United States and other countries to let the Yuan strengthen so that global products become more competitive vis-à-vis Chinese exports.
This month, Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega joined the debate when he said that a flexible currency policy in China “would be very good” for the global economy.
Last week, Brazilian President Lula da Silva met with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in Brasilia at a summit of the so-called BRIC group of major emerging markets, which also includes Russia and India. But Lula da Silva did not mention the Yuan.
So far Hu Jintao has reiterated Beijing’s long-standing official description of its Yuan policy, saying that China remains on course to gradually put in place a managed floating exchange rate system.