Free trade to boost CBA’s China expansion

Major lender CBA has welcomed the free trade agreement between China and Australia, announced Monday.

The bank’s chief executive, Ian Narev, 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,” Mr Narev said.

“The announcement is the culmination of much dedication and commitment,” he said.

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, CBA said in a statement.

“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,” Mr Narev said.

“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,” he said.

CBA 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.

 

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