NSW open for business with China: Sydney announced as settlement hub for Renminbi
NSW Premier Mike Baird has welcomed the announcement from the Australian and Chinese Governments that Sydney would become an offshore settlement hub for the Chinese currency, the Renminbi.
The announcement was made on Monday by Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, with central bank governors from both countries signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
Mr Baird said the NSW Government had been a major driver behind the push for Sydney to become a Renminbi (RMB) settlement hub.
“China is our number one trading partner and this development will make it easier for Australian firms to move funds and do business with China,” Mr Baird said.
“This announcement reflects the growing friendship between NSW and China over the past three years.
“It is a development that is warmly welcomed by the NSW Government and I look forward to personally expressing my thanks to President Xi when he arrives in Sydney this week.
“Securing Sydney as an offshore RMB settlement hub was the focus of my discussions with senior Chinese government leaders in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, when I travelled to China in September for my first international mission as Premier.
“I announced the NSW Government’s Sydney for Renminbi initiative at a financial services roundtable while in Shanghai, which was designed specifically to promote Sydney as the natural home for an Australian RMB trading hub. I’m proud this has now been achieved.
“The RMB is now the eighth-most traded currency in the world. However, only one per cent of Australian trade with China is currently settled in RMB.
“It’s estimated 30 per cent of China’s total trade will be settled in RMB by the end of 2015, so today’s announcement ensures Australia can take advantage of this major opportunity.
“Our relationship with China is of enormous and growing benefit to NSW and is built on many foundations, including trade, business partnerships, cultural links and a shared history that includes our vibrant Chinese immigrant community.
“This decision reflects three years of hard work in sending a message that NSW is open for business with China, our number one trading partner and biggest source of international tourists and visitors,” Mr Baird said.
The announcement is expected to dominate discussion at the Sydney-Shanghai Financial Services Symposium to be held in Sydney today.