Monetary and Financial Alliance in APR is Possible

On September 7, 2012, in the framework of APEC business summit, President of Russia Vladimir Putin stated he would not rule out a possibility of prospective monetary and financial alliance in the Asia Pacific Region (APR). The development of regional reserve currencies, which is already in progress, should contribute to this process.
The key problem of the currency unions is that the process takes a very long time. For example, in Japan, whose economy has long been the second in the world rating, the process of yen transformation into regional currency took about two decades.

On the one hand, it is necessary to take proper actions in this regard, to hold discussions at various levels, to make relevant preparations. The logic is clear: the current global monetary system is based on two currencies, i.e., US dollar and Euro. Today the US economy and the Eurozone are experiencing problems undermining the stability of the global financial system in general. Therefore, an introduction of alternative reserve currencies could reduce the risks of the crisis proliferation to other economies.


On the other hand, one should prudently estimate all pros and cons for Russia. There are many candidates for the role of the currency leader among the APR countries. There is no doubt, now there are two leaders here - the yen and yuan. Herewith, Korean won is also gaining strength. Therefore, it is problematic for ruble to get in the top three leaders.


One of the steps to the global financial system decentralization is a growing trend in making international payments in national currencies. There is nothing preventing Russia and China to use ruble and yuan in mutual settlements, rather than to be tied to the dollar. However, only few APR countries are using national currencies in mutual settlements with Russia; this approach is undeveloped so far. About half a year ago trades in Chinese yuan were introduced in the MICEX, but experience has shown extremely low trading volumes.


A.V. Vedev, Ph.D. in Economics, Head of Financial Sector Department