Management of China's foreign exchange reserves: a case study on the state administration of foreign
Summary for non-specialistsWith rapid economic growth and continuing economic integration with the outside world, China's foreign exchange (FX) reserves have witnessed considerable accumulation. As of 2009 it amounted to USD 2.4 trillion, accounting for just under 1/3 of the global FX reserves. Rapid growth of FX reserves at this speed has created various problems, e.g. inflationary pressure and huge holding costs.In this paper by analyzing the SAFE - Chinese governmental agency in charge of administering the FX reserves in the country, we review how Chinese FX reserves are currently managed and their performance so far. Then, in the light of these findings and borrowing literature from the current debate on Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), several reform proposals are presented regarding how to better tackle the problems relating to these rapidly accumulated FX reserves in China. It is argued that the proposed reform options not only benefit China, but also help in addressing some wider issues (e.g. global imbalances), therefore contributing to a more harmonious global economy.
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