Antananarivo, Friday, October 14, 2016: The Chinese Yuan and the Indian Rupee will be included in the Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS) operated by the COMESA Clearing House.as mode of as a mode of payments.
Currently, the United States dollar and the Euro are the only two international currencies used on the system with provision for the British Pound, Japanese Yen and the Swiss Franc.
The Director of the COMESA Clearing House Mr Mahmood Mansoor told delegates attending the 36th Intergovernmental committee meeting in Madagascar that the inclusion of the two currencies follows the decision by Central Bank governors from the region during their meeting in August this year.
â€œThis inclusion as the sixth and seventh settlement currencies would make REPSS more robust and meet the growing needs of payments and settlements in the fast changing financial world,â€ he said.
REPSS is a Multilateral Netting System with end-of-day settlement in a single currency. It provides a single gateway for Central Banks within the region to effect payment in a multicurrency environment (US$, Euro or any other specified currency). Importers and exporters are therefore able to pay and receive payment for goods and services through an efficient and cost effective platform thus increase intra-regional trade. The direct participants of the COMESA Clearing House are the Central Banks of Member States
Mr Mansoor said the two currencies will reduce the requirements for US dollars in trade with China and India and also in the Intra-COMESA and regional trade. This would greatly facilitate COMESA and Non-COMESA Member States.
Member States have steadily been using the REPSS which currently has eight Central Banks live on the platform. The value of transactions processed on the system reached nearly 14 Million US dollars and 1 million Euros as at August 2016.
The use of REPSS is expected to grow as the Central Banks of Egypt and Sudan are poised to begin live operations soon. Currently, Central Banks of DRC, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia are operating on the system.
In the meeting of Governors, COMESA Secretary General Mr Sindiso Ngwenya was asked to lead a Task Force comprising of the COMESA Clearing House, PTA Bank, COMESA Business Council and any other relevant COMESA Institution, to work in collaboration with Central Banks and main exporters and importers to channel all their payments/receipts through REPSS. The Secretary General will also liaise with Afreximbank to use the Clearing House for their intra-COMESA transactions.