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Using the renminbi to get ready for the China-fuelled services boom

Using the renminbi to get ready for the China-fuelled services boom

Sangeeta Venkatesan  ●   07 October 2016

For the first time in Australia’s 200-year history as a modern economy, global growth is being driven by emerging economies in our backyard.

This has enormous implications--implications that many Australian businesses aren’t aware of, said The Hon. Andrew Robb, AO, former Minister for Trade and Investment.

Mr Robb was one of the distinguished speakers at the recent launch of “The Renminibi – From the people’s money to a global currency” at our Sydney office. The report written in partnership with Austrade, Australia China Business Council (ACBC) and PwC, is the first practical user guide for Australian corporates.

We produced the report to help more Australian and Chinese companies build strong bridges with their counterparts in China. The renminbi (RMB) internationalisation and the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) are the essential building blocks to deliver enormous economic dividends for both our nations.

Services to benefit

The opportunities are particularly rich in services given forecasts that China’s middle class will grow to more than 850 million by 2030 [1]. Australia is one of only a few developed countries in the region and offers the first class services that China needs.

Mr Robb, who negotiated Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Japan and China, said it will be several years before China extends the same concessions to the US and Europe that ChAFTA contains because it is concerned it would be swamped by service providers. Australia is small enough to use as a testing ground.

ChAFTA’s benefits aren’t just lower tariffs but the cash flow benefits and cost savings from streamlining or reducing red tape, explained Mr Robb. It also improves Australia’s opportunity to participate in projects worth several trillions of dollars that will emerge from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.

Key take-outs from the launch event

“People feel almost guilty they don’t understand the RMB but it was only in 2009 that China piloted its RMB trade settlement scheme. It is fundamentally different from what it was five years ago.”   The Hon. Andrew Robb

“If you go back 10 or 15 years ago, people used to underestimate the rate of China’s growth. Now the new mistake is to overestimate the impact of the so-called slowdown.” The Hon. John Brumby

Our clients can benefit from the focus of our standalone RMB & China Solutions Team. The report provides unique insights and solutions on cross-border trade, investment and capital management.

By explaining the ‘how-to’ and supporting it with case studies such as the ones in this video we hope this report will help many other companies take that first step.

For more information contact the RMB and China Solutions desk, download the report or email rmbsolutions@cba.com.au. 


Sangeeta Venkatesan
Sangeeta Venkatesan

Head of RMB solutions

Sangeeta has more than 20 years of experience in the banking and finance industry, working with CBA, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers/Nomura and KPMG. That experience, predominantly in Global Markets, spans the globe – Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Singapore and Sydney.

[1] http://www.australiachinarelations.org/content/what-chinas-middle-class-means-australia