Canada Seeks to Become Renminbi Trading Centre

Canadian public/private initiative the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) and British Columbia’s (BC) non-profit AdvantageBC will work together with government partners and the financial industry to promote Canada as a trading hub for the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB).

The partners said that the cities of Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia offer time zone advantages as well as well-developed financial infrastructure and capital markets/risk management expertise. The development of a RMB centre would raise Toronto’s standing as a thriving global financial centre and also facilitate increased trade and investment with China.

In a joint statement Colin Hansen, president and chief executive (CEO) of AdvantageBC, and Janet Ecker, president and CEO of the TFSA, said: “Canada has many advantages to offer China as a partner in their efforts to encourage the internationalisation of the RMB, and as we seek to expand our business and trading relationships with them.

“Canada’s time zones, its well-developed financial infrastructure, capital markets and risk management expertise, the strong and growing economic relationship between the two countries, and a growing Chinese population in both Toronto and Vancouver provide many reasons for China to consider partnering with Canada and its financial and business community.

“While Canada’s financial industry is headquartered in Toronto, much of the country’s Canada-China trade passes through Vancouver, making it critical for both jurisdictions to work collaboratively so that Canadian businesses are able to take full advantage of this initiative.”

Work is already well underway to support the initiative. In 2013, BC issued a government bond denominated in RMB to become the first ‘dim sum’ bond in Canada. It was quickly oversubscribed, largely by Asian investors.

Also last year, Ontario’s TFSA established a working group with representation from 13 national financial companies and three public sector observers. The working group is co-chaired by financial executives from BMO Financial Group, HSBC Bank Canada, Bank of China (Canada) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Canada).

A similar group is being established in BC, while TFSA and AdvantageBC have also established a steering committee to coordinate the work of the two groups.

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