World Updated: November 27, 2023

Ten countries with the highest foreign exchange reserves in 2023

By Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
November 27, 2023

The soundness of a country's economy depends on its foreign exchange reserves. A nation would not be able to pay its external debt or purchase essential imports like crude oil without sufficient reserves. 

A central bank's ability to respond in the case of an economic crisis may also be restricted by insufficient reserves.

The management of exchange rates, which has an impact on international trade, is another purpose for foreign exchange reserves. 

The central bank has the authority to purchase and sell reserves as necessary to bring a currency—whether fixed or floating—back to its planned exchange rate if it starts to fluctuate against a foreign currency.

A government has access to other types of assets besides just foreign money. 


Foreign reserves are defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as external assets that a nation's monetary authority can employ to influence exchange rates in currency exchange markets, meet financing needs for the balance of payments, and accomplish other related goals. 



To determine the countries with the largest foreign reserves in 2023 by country, we determined the holdings of each country via information from their central bank websites.  

Where the foreign reserves by country have been denominated in the country's local currency, we checked for the conversion online using the U.S. dollar for uniform comparison. 


The data is based on the latest available information from each country, generally either in July, August, September or October 2023

Below are the top 10 countries with the highest foreign exchange reserves in 2023


1. China - $3.11 Trillion

China easily tops the list of the ten countries with the highest foreign reserves in 2023, having lent over $1.3 trillion to developing economies between 2000 and 2021. 


Despite holding the world's greatest reserves, China's currency reserves fell for the third month in a row in October.


2. Japan - $1.23 Trillion

Japan's foreign reserves have dropped by a record $54 billion, making it one of only two nations with reserves exceeding $1 trillion. 

The government of Japan intervened to spend about $20 billion in an attempt to counteract the strengthening dollar.

3. Switzerland - $876 Billion

As the Swiss franc weakened in value, its forex reserves surged and it consolidated its position among the countries with the largest foreign reserves in 2023.

4. India - $590 Billion

India's foreign reserves have increased along with its economic significance, and as more nations look to invest in the country, foreign direct investment has increased as well. 

Increased exports of IT and services are other factors that helped India rank among the nations with the greatest foreign reserves in 2023. These reserves are used to control monetary policy and maintain exchange rates.

5. Russia - $577 Billion

Russia is one of the nations with the largest oil exports in the world and has accumulated enormous foreign reserves through the sale of gas and oil to Western nations. 

Although the West imposed harsh sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, there is now a minimal chance that the West will freeze its reserves. 

Russia insisted on receiving gas payments in Russian rubles, especially from "unfriendly" nations. 

This was done to boost the supply of rubles and stabilize the currency following the invasion when its value plummeted.

6. Taiwan - $564 Billion

To keep domestic markets stable and offer protection if foreign institutional investors abruptly withdraw their funds, Taiwan's central bank has declared that it will maintain a high level of foreign reserves, solidifying its ranking among the nations with the highest foreign reserves in 2023.

7. Saudi Arabia - $427 Billion

A growth in foreign reserves indicates that Saudi Arabia's economy is still growing rapidly. 

Saudi Arabia's growing foreign reserves demonstrate the nation's capacity to maintain economic growth, control exchange rates, and shield the economy from outside shocks.


8. Hong Kong - $418 Billion

The key reason Hong Kong is one of the nations with the biggest foreign reserves in 2023 is to support its capacity to keep the dollar-linked currency system in place. 

The Hong Kong dollar's peg to the US dollar has been subjected to numerous stress tests over the past year as currency speculators have tried to take advantage of an interest rate differential in the face of economic challenges.

9. South Korea - $418 Billion

Over the last fifteen years, South Korea's foreign reserves have steadily increased in tandem with the country's economic expansion. The country's expanding exports, overseas trade, and capital inflows have allowed its reserves to surpass $400 billion.

10. Brazil - $344 Billion

Banco Central do Brasil, the central bank of Brazil, maintains foreign exchange reserves for both transactional and preventative uses, safeguarding the largest economy in Latin America and one of the world from external disruptions.    

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi

Rasheed is a Prolific Content Writer who also has a niche in all Genres of Literature, Academic Pape...

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