China announced Monday that it will start direct trading between its currency, the yuan, and the Swiss franc, Bloomberg reported.
The move to boost global usage of the yuan comes as China is pushing its case to the International Monetary Fund to have the yuan replace the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency.
“This is an important step in strengthening bilateral economic and trade connections between China and Switzerland,” the People’s Bank of China said in a statement Monday.
The link between the Chinese and Swiss currencies will begin Tuesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. This lifts the franc to the seventh major currency that can bypass a conversion into the dollar and be directly exchanged for yuan. Before this move, only the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the euro, the Japanese yen and the Australian and New Zealand dollars could be converted into Chinese yuan.
The IMF will meet this month and evaluate whether the Chinese currency is "freely usable,” or easily used abroad. The IMF rejected China’s bid in 2010.
Read more from the Bloomberg News story here.