John Gong at Valdai Discussion Club’s Seminar


On March 18, 2024, Dr. John Gong, a China Forum expert and vice president for research at UIBE Israel, attended an expert seminar hosted by the Valdai Discussion Club, sharing his take on the BRICS’ financial settlements and the establishment of non-dollar payment systems.

Professor Gong noted the growing interest in non-dollar financial channels in global trade settlements and that, in this connection, China is closely following three trends. First, the BRICS has set up a dedicated body to study the potential of a synthetic currency for trade settlement. The second trend is the Multi-Central Bank Digital Currency, or the mBridge mechanism led by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Third, Beijing has also been actively exploring the internationalization of the renminbi. 

In the Q&A session, Gong raised the idea of a North Asia Free Trade Agreement, which in its first step could consist of China, Russia and Vietnam as they share complementary trade structures and significantly growing mutual investment. The FTA could take in more members in the future, such as countries in Central and Southeast Asia.

The event also featured Ivan Chebeskov, deputy finance minister of Russia; Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., former vice president, New Development Bank; and Ibrahim Karsany, director Dubai Public Policy Research Centre.

Next:China Forum Expert John Gong Talks to Sputnik, CGTN on China’s Economic Prospects