Commonwealth Bank of Australia welcomes the Free Trade Agreement between China and Australia, announced today.
Mr Ian Narev, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Chief Executive Officer, said the conclusion of negotiations was a significant achievement for the governments on both sides.
“Negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement have been underway for 10 years. Today’s announcement is the culmination of much dedication and commitment.”
The Agreement will deliver valuable gains across a range of sectors, including important gains in bilateral services trade, such as streamlined licensing arrangements and fewer restrictions on Australian services firms.
Mr Narev said, “This Agreement is very important as it continues to pave the way for the ongoing development of business opportunities for both Australian and Chinese businesses, and will help further strengthen the economies of both nations.
“For us, as we focus on our strategy to grow our international business in Asia, and particularly in China, with a disciplined, capability-led approach, it is encouraging to see increased bilateral cooperation.”
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia first opened a representative office in Beijing in 1992. Branches were established in Shanghai and Beijing in 2010 and 2013 respectively. The Group also has a number of strategic investments in China, in the Bank of Hangzhou and Qilu Bank, and a joint venture in life insurance.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia has more than 20 years’ experience operating financial, banking and insurance services across Asia, and the Group is committed to looking for prudent opportunities to expand and enhance our presence in the region.
The Commonwealth Bank Group – in Asia
- In Asia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia employs more than 3,500 people across seven countries including China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Japan.
- The Group serves almost 430,000 customers in the region.
- The Bank’s international branch network offers a range of financial services to both Australian clients with interests in Asia and clients within the region who have business interests in Australia. The Bank also has representative offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Hanoi.
Commonwealth Bank’s International Financial Services business in China
- The establishment of the Beijing Representative Office in 1994 provided a liaison point for the Commonwealth Bank to build valuable relationships with government bodies, financial institutions and corporations in China.
- Since then, the Commonwealth Bank Group has also opened its first corporate and institutional branch in Shanghai’s Pudong District, followed by a second branch in Beijing in 2014.
- The Group opened its first County Bank in China’s central region in Henan Province in February 2011.
- It now has a total of 15 County Banks located in the provinces of Henan and Hebei, in addition to two sub-branches in Henan that service the needs of more than 18,000 SME and corporate customers.
- The Group’s joint venture partnership BoCommLife offers life insurance products, and First State Cinda Fund Management Company, part of the Group’s global asset management business, provides specialist investment services in China.