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“Earlier today we took a significant new step in the relationship when I welcomed a new agreement between our financial authorities” announced Australian prime minister Julia Gillard in China on Monday.
“The Australian and Chinese currencies will be directly traded on the Chinese mainland for the first time,” said Gillard.
The prime minister said that, “The important Chinese government policy objective of greater internationalisation of the Chinese currency will be significantly advanced by these decisions.”
This agreement makes the Australian dollar the third major currency to directly trade in China’s mainland foreign exchange market, after the US dollar and the Japanese yen.
“This reflects the rapid growth of our bilateral trade and the value of two-way investment, and it also creates opportunities for new financial integration,” Gillard said.
China is Australia’s largest trading partner and Australia is China’s seventh largest trading partner.
The prime minister hailed the development of Australia-China relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1972, saying that bilateral trade has grown one thousand fold in the past 40 years.
Mandarin is the second most commonly spoken language in Australia after English.