Today I will meet with senior government and business leaders in Hong Kong to strengthen Australia's economic links in our region and promote the huge opportunities that lie ahead as the weight of global economic activity shifts from West to East.
On this, my seventh visit to China as Treasurer, I will lead a delegation of Australian business leaders and will co-host an important forum on Renminbi (RMB) Cross-border Trade and Investment, before travelling on to Beijing tomorrow.
Hong Kong is a key trade and investment destination which is home to the highest concentration of Australians living overseas after London. Hong Kong and Australia are both strong and dynamic advanced economies, and this visit will be another great opportunity to ensure we are best positioned to prosper in the Asian Century.
During this trip I will meet with new Hong Kong Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, to discuss the enormous opportunities for our two economies, as well as the challenges for the global economy, and get a first-hand assessment of the regional economic outlook.
Together with my counterpart, Hong Kong Finance Secretary, Mr John Tsang, I will co-host a Renminbi Cross-border Trade and Investment Forum to promote the further internationalisation of the Chinese currency.
Hong Kong has a unique role in RMB internationalisation and the Forum will provide an opportunity for market participants and policymakers to discuss the future direction of this market, and the opportunities it presents as two-way trade between Australia and China continues to flourish.
RMB internationalisation is an important step in China's economic and financial reform agenda that has spanned more than three decades, and is key to greater exchange rate flexibility.
I will also address the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong - the largest Australian chamber outside of Australia. I will use this opportunity to discuss the scale and pace of Asia's transformation, Australia's integration with the region, and the challenges and prospects that lie ahead for us in the region and the global economy.
I will also hold a briefing of private sector investors to promote the strengths of the Australian economy which has become a safe-haven amid continuing global volatility. I will highlight our rock-solid economic fundamentals, including impressive growth, low unemployment, strong public finances and AAA credit rating from all three ratings agencies.
I will also be accompanied on this trip by my Parliamentary Secretary Mr Bernie Ripoll.
Following my visit to Hong Kong, I will travel to Beijing for meetings with senior Chinese leaders, further opportunities for our business delegation to engage with Chinese business leaders and policymakers, and a gala dinner to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
11 July 2012