China, Brazil strike deal to ditch dollar for trade
China and Brazil have reached a deal to trade in their own currencies, ditching the U.S. dollar as an intermediary, the Brazilian government said Wednesday.
The deal will enable China, the world's second-largest economy, and Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin America, to conduct their massive trade and financial transactions directly, exchanging yuan for reais and vice versa instead of going through the dollar.
"The expectation is that this will reduce costs... promote even greater bilateral trade and facilitate investment," the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) said in a statement.
China is Brazil's biggest trading partner, with a record $150.5 billion in bilateral trade last year.
The deal, which follows a preliminary agreement in January, was announced after a high-level China-Brazil business forum in Beijing.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was originally scheduled to attend the forum as part of a high-profile China visit, but had to postpone his trip indefinitely Sunday after he came down with pneumonia.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of Communications BBM will execute the transactions, officials said.
China has similar currency deals with Russia, Pakistan and several other countries.
(Cover: The national flags of Brazil and China. /CFP)