Yuan and ruble to replace dollar in Pakistan: Pakistani official
Pakistan, among other nations, is brushing off the US dollar due to sanctions by making way for the Chinese yuan and Russian ruble.
According to TASS citing a statement by President of the Trade House of Pakistan Association Zahid Ali Khan to reporters on Tuesday, replacing the US dollar with Russian rubles and Chinese yuan is a potential plan Pakistan is considering.
“We are still trading in dollars, which is a problem… We are considering the issue of trading in rubles or in yuan, but the issue is still being finalized,” said Ali Khan, noting that the transition to the two currencies in trade could take place as soon as next year, as he recently participated in the ‘Export Marathon’ international forum in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
March witnessed major trade cooperation between Russia and Pakistan concerning the import of two million tons of wheat and more significantly the supply of natural gas, especially as then-Pakistani PM Imran Khan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in February to brainstorm ways in which bilateral trade relations can be bolstered and broadened.
One of those ways, discussed by the two leaders reportedly, was the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline, which was put on the back burner but is intended to be built in collaboration with Russian companies. The 1,100km pipeline that binds Russia and Pakistan was agreed upon in 2015 and is bound to be financed by both nations.
At a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the SCO sidelines in Samarkand, Putin said: "There are very interesting and large-scale projects. This is the so-called Pakistan Stream. It is about creating the necessary infrastructure for the supply of liquefied natural gas. We are talking about the supply of pipeline gas from Russia to Pakistan — and this is also possible, bearing in mind that part infrastructure has already been created — Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. We need to resolve the issue with Afghanistan".
Russian-Pakistani relations have been growing with time, as just last month, Putin congratulated Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistani President Arif Alvi on the 75th anniversary of Pakistan's independence, noting active cooperation in counter-terrorism. In a telegram sent to the Pakistani leadership, Putin expressed trust that the cooperation between Russia and Pakistan will continue to expand.
According to him, the Pakistani market is interested in the supply of Russian goods, including chemical and pharmaceutical products. “In the near future, we see very great prospects for the development of relations between Russia and Pakistan. Especially, of course, [Pakistan is interested that] Russia exports chemical products, technical products, paper… we need pharmaceuticals. These are issues that are being worked out now,” Zahid Ali Khan explained.
Other countries, such as Venezuela and Turkey, have also adopted the idea of dealing with the ruble currency in which the former welcomed the wider use of the Russian ruble, with hopes to restore the flow of tourists from Russia in the near future and the latter encouraged the use of rubles to pay for Russian gas.
In regards to China, Islamabad and Beijing reiterated their strong support for each other’s interests and commitment to deepening their strategic relations last May, as both sides agreed on the need for stronger collaboration in the areas of tourism, education, finance, and information technology.