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Renminbi hub topic of summit

Updated: 2015-04-16 11:17
By TALIA BECKETT and HATTY LIU in Vancouver (China Daily USA)

Private and public sector leaders from across Canada and Asia will meet at the Pacific Finance Summit to create a blueprint for Canada to capitalize on its new status as clearing hub for China's currency.

The summit, part of the international conference series presented by CityAge Media, will be held June 16 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. It is co-hosted by AdvantageBC and the Province of British Columbia.

Participants of the summit will look at how Canadian and Chinese companies will gain competitive advantages by settling accounts between Canadian dollars and renminbi, or yuan, which is expected to become the world's third major trading currency within the next five years.

According to Colin Hansen, CEO of AdvantageBC, Canada's status as a renminbi hub is "a unique opportunity, which will make [Canada's] importers and exporters more competitive and extend out trade reach across the Americas."

The Peoples Bank of China designated Canada as China's first renminbi settlement hub in the North American continent on Nov 9. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) branch in Canada is the official clearing bank.

"The new currency exchange system will mean that Canadian companies will now be able to efficiently conduct transactions in real time between Canadian dollars and Chinese renminbi," Hansen said in a press release. "Canadian companies will [have] savings in currency exchange costs, reduction in transaction risks, as well as faster and more direct payments."

The ability to directly trade in what is expected to be one of the world's top three currencies within five years will add as much as C$32 billion in exports for Canada and grow the country's financial services footprint in Asia.

Canada is also the seventh country in the world to be allocated a renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor quota by China, which will allow companies in Canada to use renminbi to invest directly with China's capital markets.

According to AdvantageBC, these successes offer Canada an opportunity to grow both its status as a global financial center and its exports to China and other Asian countries.

Confirmed speakers at the Pacific Finance Summit include Michael de Jong, BC Minister of Finance; Teresa Wat, BC Minister of International Trade; Janet L. Ecker, President and CEO of Toronto Financial Services Alliance; and Rongrong Huo, head of China and RMB Business Development of HSBC.

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