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Westpac signs General Cooperation Agreement with China Eximbank


7 April 2011

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) and The Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) today signed a General Cooperation Agreement (Agreement) where both banks agree to promote close cooperation. The Agreement will improve Westpac’s ability to support its customers operating in China and China Eximbank’s capacity to assist customers with interests in Australia and New Zealand.

The Agreement was signed by Westpac Group Chairman, Mr. Ted Evans AC and Chairman and President China Eximbank, Mr. Li Ruogu. The Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Mr. Jia Qinglin and Group Executive for Westpac Institutional Bank, Mr. Rob Whitfield witnessed the signing at Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra.

The General Cooperation Agreement with Westpac is the first Agreement China Eximbank has signed with an Australian bank.  It is based on the principle of equality, mutual benefit, respect and trust to facilitate major development projects in the areas of infrastructure, energy, minerals and agriculture which are of mutual interest to Australia and China.

Mr. Whitfield said, “This Agreement provides a great opportunity to further strengthen the relationship between Australia and China. It is of significant mutual benefit as it will allow both banks to capture an increased share of trade and capital flows within this region. By leveraging our expertise and experience in the Natural Resources and Trade Finance, Westpac and China Eximbank will collaborate to support our common customers’ investment in Australia, New Zealand, China and other key markets.”

China Eximbank was established in 1994. It is fully owned by the Chinese government and under the direct leadership of the State Council. China Eximbank is a government policy bank enjoying the same international credit ratings as China’s sovereign rating. Headquartered in Beijing, the Bank has over ten domestic business branches and representative offices, as well as three overseas representative offices in Johannesburg, Paris and St. Petersburg.

Westpac has a long and proud history as Australia’s first and oldest bank. It was established in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales. In 1982 it changed its name to Westpac Banking Corporation following the acquisition of the Commercial Bank of Australia. Westpac has branches and affiliates throughout Australia, New Zealand and the near Pacific region and maintains offices in key financial centres around the world including London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai.