Agribusiness

China FTA could unlock more finance for Australian farmers

Sheep Central, November 18, 2014
Khan-Horne_NAB agribusiness general manager

NAB agribusiness general manager Khan Horne

The China-Australia FTA has the potential to unlock Chinese capital to help Australian farmers expand and create jobs, NAB agribusiness general manager Khan Horne said today.

Mr Horne announced that NAB and the Export-Import Bank of China had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, supporting greater collaboration between the two parties.

The memorandum was signed yesterday by NAB chairman Michael Chaney and Export-Import Bank of China chairman and president Li Ruogu at a ceremony in Parliament House, Canberra, attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The memorandum will enhance coordination between the two banks in a number of areas, including syndication, project finance, daily FX trading, derivative trading and export/import credit, NAB said.Mr Horne said the signing of the FTA is exciting for many farmers across the country.

“China is one of the largest markets in the world, and for NAB customers we want to see Chinese markets unlocked further for Australian agribusinesses.

“More markets open for Australian agribusinesses means more jobs here in Australia.”

Hard work yet to come

Mr Horne said while the FTA is a great step forward, the hard work now begins for farmers.

“Patience and a disciplined long term strategy is needed to succeed in China.

“China is changing the way it is doing business, and Australian agribusinesses need to factor this into their strategies,” he said.

“As Australian farmers know only too well, agribusiness is capital intensive – and Australia has always relied on foreign capital.

“This FTA has the potential to unlock Chinese capital to help Australian farmers expand their businesses and create for jobs for Australians.”

Mr Horne said the FTA review process will also provide an opportunity to firmly advocate on behalf of some farmers that didn’t enjoy the same policy outcomes as other sectors of the economy.

NAB said it was the first Australian bank to establish a presence in China in 1982, and the memorandum is the fifth cross border financial services collaboration that NAB has undertaken in China.

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