In a significant move aimed at reducing dependence on the United States dollar, nine Asian countries gathered in a high-level meeting hosted by Iran to seek de-dollarization. The meeting, held in the Iranian capital of Tehran, brought together policymakers and financial experts from across the region to explore alternatives to the dominant role of the dollar in international trade and finance.
Officials from nine Asian countries, who are members of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), have convened in Tehran for their annual meeting, with a strong focus on de-dollarization. The gathering includes representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, with additional attendees from Russia’s central bank, as well as officials from Belarus and Afghanistan.
Countries’ pursuit of De-Dollarization Is not voluntary
According to a report by the Tasnim news service, the 51st annual meeting of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) commenced on Tuesday in Tehran, spanning two days. The gathering, hosted by the central bank of Iran, saw the participation of officials representing ACU member countries, along with several others. De-dollarization emerged as a central theme of discussion during the event of Asian countries’ meeting hosted by Iran.
Comprising of nine member institutions, namely Bangladesh Bank, Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan, Reserve Bank of India, Central Bank of Iran, Maldives Monetary Authority, Central Bank of Myanmar, Nepal Rastra Bank, State Bank of Pakistan, and Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) includes top officials from these institutions in attendance at the meeting. Additionally, the governor of the Russian central bank, along with officials from Belarus and Afghanistan, is participating as observers.
Iran’s First Vice President Remarks on shifting away from USD in Trade Settlement
During the meeting, Iran’s First Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber, shared his thoughts on the global economy and the increasing trend of countries moving away from utilizing the U.S. dollar for trade settlements, stating:
“De-dollarization is not a voluntary choice by countries anymore; it is the countries’ inevitable response to the ‘weaponization project of the dollar.’
Mokhber highlighted the impact of the “Weaponization of the dollar” over the past few decades, which has prompted countries to reduce their dependence on the USD as a precautionary measure against potential sanctions.
Iran’s First Vice President highlights challenges of weakening Dollar
Acknowledging the increasing global trend of countries aiming to decrease their dependence on the U.S. dollar, the first vice president of Iran emphasized the considerable challenge posed to the United States’ global influence by the weakening of the dollar. In his concluding statements, he highlighted the readiness of the Islamic Republic to strengthen its banking and trade relations with other nations, with a particular focus on ACU member states.
Iran has been actively scaling up its de-dollarization endeavors, including the gradual elimination of the USD from bilateral trade agreements with Russia. Demonstrating this commitment, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi recently urged the central bank of Iran to shift away from the U.S. dollar in trade transactions and instead promote the use of national currencies. Furthermore, President Raisi expressed Iran’s aspiration to join the BRICS economic bloc, aimed at countering Western dominance and fostering a multipolar world.
BRICS Countries and ASEAN members seek to reduce Dollar reliance
Efforts to diminish dependence on the U.S. dollar extend beyond Iran, as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have actively pursued measures to reduce their reliance on the dollar. The economic group is currently engaged in discussions regarding the creation of a common currency, which is expected to be a significant topic of deliberation at their upcoming leaders’ summit.
In a similar vein, ten Southeast Asian countries constituting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have recently reached an agreement to promote the use of national currencies over the U.S. dollar. This move showcases a collective effort among ASEAN members to diversify their currency preferences and reduce reliance on the dollar in regional trade and financial transactions.
As Asian countries seek de-dollarization in the meeting hosted by Iran, it highlights the growing momentum toward de-dollarization. Iran’s First Vice President emphasized the challenges posed by the weaponization of the U.S. dollar and expressed readiness to enhance banking and trade relations with other nations. The push for de-dollarization extends beyond Iran, with BRICS countries and ASEAN members also seeking to reduce reliance on the dollar and explore alternative currencies and arrangements.