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  • 28 October, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Rupee's Internationalization

Rupee's Internationalization

  • The benefits and dangers of the internationalisation of the rupee were recently emphasised by a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor.

What is rupee internationalisation?

  • The process of internationalising the rupee entails using it more frequently in cross-border transactions.
  • It entails encouraging the use of the rupee in import and export trade as well as other current account transactions before moving on to capital account usage.
  • The rupee is fully convertible in the current account but only partially convertible in the capital account.
  • The two parts of the balance of payments are the current and capital accounts. While the capital account is made up of the cross-border movement of capital through investments and loans, the current account primarily deals with the import and export of goods and services.

Why Does the Rupee Need to Be Internationalized?

  • The rupee accounts for just 1.7% of global foreign exchange market turnover, highlighting the need to push the currency much further to gain an international reputation. The dollar commands 88.3% of this market turnover, followed by the euro, Japanese Yen, and pound sterling.
  • The 'exorbitant' privileges in the case of the dollar, an international currency, include immunity from Balance of Payments crises because the USA can cover its external deficits with its own currency.

What are the various benefits of the rupee's internationalisation?

  • Currency risk is reduced for Indian businesses when using the Rupee in international transactions. Protection from currency volatility improves business growth and lowers operating costs, increasing the likelihood that Indian companies will expand internationally.
  • The requirement for maintaining foreign exchange reserves decreases. Reserves have an impact on the economy even though they help control exchange rate volatility and project external stability.
  • India becomes less susceptible to outside shocks by reducing its reliance on foreign currency. For instance, excessive foreign currency liabilities of domestic businesses result in a de facto domestic tightening during phases of monetary tightening in the US and a strengthening dollar. The discomfort of reversing capital flows would be significantly lessened by reduced exposure to currency risk.
  • The bargaining power of Indian business would increase as the rupee's use increased, adding weight to the Indian economy and raising India's stature and respect internationally.

What difficulties face the internationalisation of the rupee?

  • The RBI introduced a system to streamline cross-border trade in rupees in July 2022.
  • Enabling external commercial borrowings in Rupees (especially Masala Bonds).
  • The Asian Clearing Union is also looking into a plan to settle transactions using local currencies.
  • A bilateral or trading bloc agreement that gives each country's importers the option to pay in their own currency is likely to be favoured by all parties, so it is worthwhile to investigate.

Way Forward

  • The recent initiative to invoice trade in rupees stems from a different global requirement and order, but opening up trade settlement in rupees alone will not be sufficient for true internationalisation and wider use of the rupee abroad. It is more crucial to continue opening up and liberalising rupee settlements for different financial instruments on both Indian and international markets.
  • An effective swap market and a robust foreign exchange market may also be necessary for rupee internationalisation.
  • The health of the financial sector and general economic fundamentals will both continue to improve, which will boost the confidence in the rupee and prepare it for the next leg of its international journey.

Read Also: Drop in Foreign Exchange Reserves

Source: The Economic Times

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