Media & Speeches

Direct Trading of Australian and Chinese Currencies Welcome

The President of the Business Council of Australia, Tony Shepherd, welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister today that Australian and Chinese currencies will be directly traded on the Chinese mainland for the first time.

Mr Shepherd, who is currently in China for the Australia–China CEO Roundtable, said Australia was well placed to benefit from initiatives to increase the international use of the renminbi (RMB) given our strong trade and investment links with China.

Mr Shepherd will co-chair the third meeting of the roundtable in Beijing tomorrow, along with Chairman Chen Yuan from the China Development Bank.

The roundtable is the premier bilateral business forum between Australia and China with two dozen top business leaders from some of Australia and China’s biggest companies participating.

Mr Shepherd said that the importance of promoting the use of the RMB internationally had been discussed at previous meetings of the Australia–China CEO Roundtable going back to 2010.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement will further promote trade and investment between Australia and China, and this is very encouraging,” he said.

“There are tremendous opportunities for Australia to become a major RMB trading and settlement location, and business leaders from a number of Australia’s leading financial services companies look forward to raising this at the roundtable discussions tomorrow.”

Tomorrow’s discussions will build on many of the themes outlined in the government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

“Deeper business-to-business connections with the countries of Asia can broaden the flow of ideas and help us to acquire new knowledge and access to new technologies that will strengthen our own growth prospects and living standards,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Business leaders will also stress the importance of stronger cultural ties and that growing knowledge, trust and understanding between our two countries will be vital for underpinning closer economic cooperation with China.”

Mr Shepherd rejected calls from Opposition spokesperson Barnaby Joyce today for a tightening of foreign investment rules.

“Foreign investment had been one of the backbones of Australia’s economic success and growing living standards. The current rules have served us well and now is not the time to be sending confused signals to the international community.”

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 | Mobile 0403 241 128