28 August 2003

Single Asia-Pacific Finance Market A Priority

The formation of a single Asia Pacific finance market was one of the next major steps in globalisation of financial service, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

He said Australia would benefit greatly from an integrated market taking in the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and New Zealand.

“A single market with this membership would be an enormous powerhouse, representing 70% of world capital,” he said.

“As a country representing 2% of world markets, Australia must continue its program of economic reform to maintain its growth.

“Taking the lead on the creation of an Asia-Pacific market is a major component of that strategy.

“If we as a nation do not seize every opportunity to use our excellent reputation as an economic manager to influence change, we run the risk of going out the back door.

“In world terms, we could become just a rounding error.”

Senator Campbell was speaking in Sydney at the launch of the 2003 review of the corporate banking industry conducted by financial analysts East & Partners.

“One example where integration within the region would deliver significant benefits is clearing and settlement infrastructure,” he said.

“Generally, clearing and settlement facilities have developed in tandem with trading platforms in particular jurisdictions and are therefore highly fragmented.

“Europe has been leading the way in moves to integrate clearing and settlement systems. It is important we get results in our region otherwise we will be disadvantaged against Europe.”

28 August 2003

Contact: Wayne Grant 0407 845 280