RMB Clearing Centre Launched at Central Bank of Mauritius

On 16 December 2022, the RMB Clearing Centre was officially launched during a ceremony at the Central Bank of Mauritius. Bank of Mauritius Governor Mr Harvesh Seegoolam, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mauritius Mr Kona Yerukunondu, Chinese Ambassador in Mauritius Mr ZHU Liying and Bank of China in Mauritius CEO Mr LI Lianhong attended the event.

The launch follows the Mauritius–China Economic Cooperation Forum which took place a few days earlier at the Hilton Resort Hotel on 7 December 2022 when Mauritian Finance Minister Mr Renganaden Padayachy made the announcement that the #RMBHub in Mauritius would become a reality soon. The RMB is now the 5th most used currency in the world behind the USD, EUR, GBP and JPY. The IMF included the RMB in its Special Drawing Rights (#SDR) basket of currencies since September 2016 and recently lifted its weighting from 10.92% to 12.28% in April 2022.

The RMB Clearing Centre is expected to facilitate trade with China by allowing settlements directly in RMB without the need for an intermediary currency. Initially, the Bank of China in Mauritius is the sole designated bank which can clear RMB-denominated transactions but other banks in Mauritius are eager to get into the action.

Bilateral trade between China and Africa reached USD 254 billion in 2021 and is still largely conducted via the american greenback. Mauritius becomes the 3rd country in Africa to have an RMB Clearing Centre after South Africa and Zambia. Other countries in Africa such as Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Ghana have also expressed interest to set up an RMB Clearing Centre too.

The top RMB Clearing Centres ranked by value around the world are in Hong Kong, UK, Singapore, USA and Taiwan. The Mauritius #IFC ambitions to have a regional reach and to develop into one of the top global offshore RMB Clearing Centers.