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Trade increases

Geraldine Panapasa
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FIJI's trade with China has increased almost ten-fold from $35million in 2000 to over $300m in 2012 says the Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Barry Whiteside at the launch of ANZ's Chinese Renminbi (RMB) trading platform on Monday.

The platform enables businesses in Fiji to trade and make payments into and out of China in Chinese Yuan rather than US dollars through ANZ.

Mr Whiteside said China was Fiji's fifth largest trading partner, having recently dislodged Japan from the position.

"Following the Fiji rollout for RMB transfers, a similar process will be facilitated for ANZ Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands," he said at the Holiday Inn in Suva.

"The launch is one more example of one of our long-time financial players maintaining its pace of innovation.

"More and more services and products are now being made available to make banking efficient and more accessible to the public.

"It is important to highlight that China's economy is the second largest in the world, surpassing the US last year to become the world's biggest trading nation with total annual flows reaching $US3.9trillion ($F6.9tn).

"The RMB is clearly expected to play a greater role in international economic and financial activities."

ANZ Pacific and Fiji chief executive officer Vishnu Mohan said it was obvious the region's future success was going to be closely linked to Asia.

He said Pacific exports to China climbed to $US1.2billion ($F2.1b) in 2011, an increase of 10 per cent from 2010 while imports from China for the Pacific grew 39 per cent year on year in 2011 to record $US900m ($F1.6b).

"There can be little doubt that this will be Asia Pacific's century, and Fiji's relationship with Asia will be about engaging with the region of increasing global significance."

Meanwhile, Mr Whiteside said China and its central bank had been progressively deregulating and internationalising the country's currency since 2009.

This liberalisation of the RMB, he said, presented business opportunities and had seen a surge in RMB offshore deposits, RMB bonds issuance and trade payments through Hong Kong, the premier offshore RMB business centre. He said more than 10 per cent of China's cross-border trade was now settled in RMB with over 70 countries already doing business in the currency.





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