"We are now not too far from our goal of capital account convertibility," Zhou told Caixin magazine.
The yuan exchange rate's fluctuation level will also widen in the future, he added.
On inflation, Zhou said the outlook had improved, and the task of fighting rising prices will not be as urgent in 2012.
Inflation appears to be cooling, having fallen from a three-year high of 6.5 percent in July to 4.2 percent in November, creating additional room for policy easing to support growth.
In a separate statement on its website, the central bank said it would maintain a prudent monetary policy.
China's yuan headed for a strong close to 2011 on Friday, touching a record high in early trade after the central bank set the mid-point at a fresh high, putting it on course to gain 4.5 percent for the year.
The yuan's gains for the year are in line with the 4 to 5 percent traders in the onshore market had expected at the start of the year.