Westpac Welcomes China Australia Free Trade Agreement
17 June 2015
Westpac Banking Corporation has welcomed the signing of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) in Canberra today.
Westpac Group CEO, Brian Hartzer, said the agreement marks a historic moment for Australian economic ties with China.
“The FTA ensures Australia will maximise the opportunity from China’s economic growth, particularly as it moves to a consumption based economy.
“It delivers more bilateral concessions than any other free trade agreement in China’s history and demonstrates the commitment of the Australian Government in growing our relationship with our largest trading partner.”
Mr Hartzer urged the business community to act quickly to take advantage of the ChAFTA, given 124 other countries count China as their largest trading partner.
“While the concessions awarded under the ChAFTA are unparalleled, there are 124 other countries looking to expand their trading ties with China. Australian business must work very hard to take advantage of this opportunity.
“Australia’s services sector will play an increasingly large role in Australia's future prosperity and the potential for our services companies in China is immense. As China continues to liberalise its financial markets, there are significant opportunities for the Australian banking industry,” Mr Hartzer said.
As the first Australian bank to open an office in China, Westpac has been at the forefront of China’s growth story for over 40 years. Since then, Westpac has established offices across Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone sub-branch with specialist teams focussed on Trade, Structured Commodity and Asset Finance, Debt Capital Markets, Derivatives, FX and Natural Resources.
“Westpac is committed to supporting customers doing business in China and helping them to take advantage of the opportunities from the FTA,” Mr Hartzer said.
Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) was founded in 1817 and was the first bank established in Australia. Today, the Westpac Group has branches and controlled entities 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, mainland China, Singapore, India and Indonesia. Westpac Group employs approximately 36,000 people and has three key customer facing divisions through which we serve around 12 million customers.
Westpac in China
Westpac has operated in Asia for over 40 years and was the first Australian bank into China. In addition to its Asian regional headquarters in Singapore, Westpac’s has branches in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, a sub-branch in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, a branch in Mumbai and a representative office in Jakarta. Westpac’s goal in China is to both support Australian and New Zealand customers in the region, as well as provide a gateway for Chinese firms and individuals with interests in Australia and New Zealand.