Malaysia is reviving a decades-old proposal to create an Asian Monetary Fund to reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar, with China being open to talks about the matter.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim proposed the fund last week, Bloomberg reported.
“When I had a meeting with President Xi Jinping, he immediately said, ‘I refer to Anwar’s proposal on the Asian Monetary Fund’, and he welcomed discussions,” Anwar, who also serves as the country’s finance minister, told the Malaysian parliament on Tuesday.
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“There is no reason for Malaysia to continue depending on the dollar,” he added.
Anwar said he shelved forming an Asian Monetary Fund during his first stint as finance minister in the 1990s. At the time, the idea failed to gain traction as the U.S. dollar was still seen as strong, he said.
The dollar index reached a record-high in September 2022 as other Asian currencies hit multi-decade lows, the news report said.
Recently, China and Brazil struck a deal to ditch the U.S. dollar in favor of their own currencies in trade transactions.
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China is Brazil’s largest trading partner, accounting for more than a fifth of all imports, followed by the United States, according to the latest figures.
China is also Brazil’s largest export market, accounting for more than a third of all exports.