We're not just a passenger in Asia: Swan

Wed July 11, 2012 12:11am

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan will use a speech to a business group in Hong Kong to give a flavour of the government's soon-to-be-released Asian Century white paper.

MR Swan is on Tuesday leading a business delegation to Hong Kong and is to co-host a forum on Renminbi (RMB) cross-border trade and investment with Hong Kong Finance Secretary John Tsang on Wednesday, before travelling on to Beijing.

"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," Mr Swan said.

He said the internationalisation of the RMB 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.

During the trip, Mr Swan will meet with new Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung to discuss opportunities for the two economies, as well as the challenges for the global economy, and get a first-hand assessment of the regional economic outlook.

Mr Swan will also tell the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong that the government's white paper will serve as a long-term roadmap for how Australia can be "a partner, not just a passenger" in the Asian Century.

He will address one of the key themes coming out of the white paper consultation process, that collaboration is a key to success.

"It is not about how Australia should directly compete with Asia," he will say.

"It is about how Australia should work together with Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and so many other countries to build stronger relationships and shared prosperity."

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