SYDNEY, Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mike Baird, Premier of Australia's leading State,New South Wales (NSW), today launched a new initiative to promote Sydney as a leading financial centre and regional trading hub for the Chinese currency, the Renminbi (RMB).
Mr Baird announced the Sydney for Renminbi initiative during a financial services roundtable inShanghai during his first overseas mission as Premier.
The Premier outlined Sydney's financial services capabilities at the Roundtable, which was attended by senior executives from Chinese and Australian financial services companies and regulators based inShanghai.
"Sydney is the natural home for an Australian RMB trading hub," Mr Baird said.
"Our close trading ties with China, world class funds management expertise and natural strengths in sectors of strategic importance to China all point to Sydney taking on an increasingly important role in the ongoing internationalisation of the RMB.
"Australia already has a wide range of RMB-related products and services on offer through the top five and top four Chinese and Australian banks.
"The ASX and Bank of China Sydney have also recently launched a new RMB settlement facility allowing Bank of China's clients to settle directly in RMB or AUD."
Mr Baird said the NSW Government will promote Sydney as a leading financial services centre and RMB trading hub by partnering with industry in the new Sydney for Renminbi initiative, which involves:
* Establishing a Sydney RMB Working Group to provide leadership on the practical next steps for development of the RMB market inSydney; * Demonstrating Sydney's commitment to the growth of the RMB as a leading international currency; * Supporting the Australian Government in securing a clearing bank for Sydney; * Promoting opportunities for our businesses to do direct trade with China to reduce their costs and risks by trading in RMB. "I also look forward to the Sydney-Shanghai Financial Services Symposium to be held inSydney in November and the opportunity it will bring for both cities to explore the benefits Sydney as an RMB trading hub could bring to both financial centres," Mr Baird said.
Mr Baird said establishing Sydney as a regional hub for RMB would make it easier forAustralia and China to move funds and do business.
"China is our biggest trading partner. Over the past five years bi-lateral merchandise trade between China and NSW has grown by 48 per cent.
"However, only one per cent of Australian trade with China is currently settled in RMB. Sydney for Renminbi aims to take advantage of this opportunity.
"The RMB currency is now the eighth most traded currency in the world, and in the short term it is estimated that the RMB will be used to settle 30 per cent of China's total trade by the end of 2015.
"Many of Australia's biggest businesses have already made the shift, with mining firms such as Hancock Mining, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue Mining beginning to settle deals directly in RMB."
Mr Baird said the Sydney for Renminbi initiative will build on Sydney's reputation as one of the world's significant financial centres.
"Sydney leads Australia in banking, wealth management, insurance, legal services, accounting, digital-ICT, creative industries and engineering.
"The World Economic Forum recently rated Australia as one of the most open, efficient and well regulated financial services sectors in the world andSydney, Australia's financial and business capital, is right at the heart of that achievement.
"Sydney's financial services sector generates about $57 billion a year for the economy and is increasingly being recognised as a leading financial services hub in theAsia Pacific.
"We're building on Sydney's financial services strengths with the next generation of financial services growth right at the heart of Sydney, in Barangaroo.
"Set to become the next Canary Wharf, Barangaroo will take Sydney's financial services capabilities to the next level.
"Sydney for Renminbi will help to cement Sydney's future as one of the world's most exciting and successful financial centres."
SOURCE Premier of Australia's Leading State of New South Wales