By PNA / Xinhua and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan and Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang announced Wednesday a new high-level dialog between senior business leaders from the two economies on renminbi trade and investment.
Giving a keynote speech at the RMB cross-border trade and investment forum in Hong Kong Wednesday, Swan said the dialog will be private-sector driven with representatives from the banking sector and firms participating in cross-border trade and investment.
According to him, the initiative will start in Sydney, Australia next year, and will continue in Hong Kong in 2014.
It will be facilitated by the Australian Treasury, the central bank of Australia and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
Swan said as the world’s economic weight moves rapidly from West to East, Hong Kong has a fundamental role to play as the global “gateway” to Asia and China in particular.
“Therefore, the dialog will bring together senior banking and other business leaders in Australia and Hong Kong to “maximize the opportunities flowing from the internationalization of the RMB,” said Swan.
“It will also assist the development of new RMB-denominated financing and investment products and closer RMB banking and financial links,” he added.
Tsang said at the forum that as the offshore RMB business center, Hong Kong will continue to be at the front and center of RMB liberalization process, playing a role as a feedback mechanism for the mainland’s financial reforms and a bridge to overseas markets.
“In space of 8 years, we have build a stable platform for developing offshore renminbi business supported by three sturdy pillars, namely renminbi banking, bond issuance and trade settlement,” said Tsang.
As the largest country for Chinese investment outbound flow, Australia has taken significant steps to promote greater trade and investment in RMB.
In November last year, the Australian dollar became one of nine world currencies to be allowed to trade in the Chinese mainland, becoming convertible against RMB via the U.S. dollar.
In March 2012, China and Australia signed a 200 billion RMB currency swap agreement between their respective central banks.
“Australia takes a strong interest in China’s path towards full RMB convertibility and I look forward to continuing to work with my Chinese colleagues towards this goal,” Swan said.