Wednesday, October 28, 2009
ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey is switching to national currencies in trade with Iran and China, ending dependence on the U.S. dollar and the euro for about 20 percent of its commodity turnover, local media reported on Wednesday.
Turkey has already switched to settlements in national currencies with Russia amid weakening confidence in the greenback as the world's major reserve currency. The move was initiated by Turkish President Abdullah Gul during his visit to Moscow in February.
Turkey's decision to make settlements with Iran and China in national currencies was announced during a visit to Iran by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish premier told a Turkish-Iranian business forum on Tuesday that the countries had prepared a legal framework for transition to settlements in national currencies.
"We have adopted a necessary legislative act and are prepared for the transition," the Turkish newspaper Milliyet quoted Erdogan as saying.
According to the paper, Turkey's trade with Russia, Iran, and China exceeds $65 billion a year. Russia is Turkey's largest trade partner, with $37.8 billion commodity turnover registered last year.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on October 14 that Russia was ready to consider using the Russian and Chinese national currencies instead of the dollar in bilateral oil and gas dealings.
"We are ready to examine the possibility of selling energy resources for rubles, but our Chinese partners need rubles for that. We are also ready to sell for yuans," Putin said.
Britain's Independent newspaper reported in early October that Russian officials had held "secret meetings" with Arab states, China and France on ending the use of the U.S. dollar in international oil trade.
The countries are reportedly seeking to switch from the dollar to a basket of currencies including the euro, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, gold, and a new unified currency of leading Arab oil producing countries.The Independent said the meetings have been confirmed by Chinese and Arab banking sources, although Russian officials said they had no knowledge of the talks.