2014 SYDNEY CHINA BUSINESS FORUM: 17 November
Our new relationship with China
On 17 November, the same day Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the framework for the historic free trade agreement in Canberra, more than 200 government and business leaders gathered in Sydney to strengthen partnerships in the financial services sector between the two countries.
Australia is on the cusp of a new kind of economic relationship with China, one dominated by services rather than resources. This was canvassed by Chinese and Australian speakers and panellists at the 2014 Sydney China Business Forum, hosted by the City of Sydney and presented by the University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore opened the forum, which focused on issues crucial to the development of the financial services sector for Australia and China, by welcoming Chinese investment to Sydney.
"Sydney is the gateway to Australia's financial, education, creative and tourism sectors and we are delighted to back an event that shows off our city's credentials," Moore said.
"Most global banks, including China's top five commercial banks and financial institutions operating in Australia, have headquarters or offices in central Sydney."
Professor Kerry Brown, Executive Director of the China Studies Centre, launched the new joint report between the University of Sydney and Finsia, entitled, 'The Development of Financial Services in China: The Role for Australia'.
"As a major finance centre, Sydney has an essential role to play in China's future growth. The opportunities are vast, but under-exploited," Professor Brown said.
Financial Secretary of Hong Kong John Tsang delivered a keynote address, where he highlighted the strengths of Hong Kong’s financial sector.
“Right now, I would say that Sydney feels a whole lot like the Aussie capital of China business. That is thanks to this prestigious forum, now in its fourth year of highlighting business promises between Australia and Greater China,” Mr Tsang said. Read Mr Tsang’s full speech.
“Hong Kong is uniquely well-positioned to play a pivotal role in the internationalisation of the renminbi since Hong Kong has always been contributing to and benefiting from the Mainland's economic and financial reforms.
“With that in mind, we continue to strengthen our market infrastructure and financial offerings. And we continue to work with Mainland authorities to create renminbi opportunities that will reward us all.”
Forum participants explored ways in which China and Australia can deepen their financial ties through free trade, greater investment, regulatory changes, the internationalisation of the Chinese currency and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
Bank of Communications Sydney Branch was the 2014 Sydney China Business Forum’s Platinum Partner.