Monday, September 3rd, 2012 - Finance Minister
Australia will host an international symposium on regional financial market integration in 2013, bringing together private sector leaders and regulators in the financial services industry from across the Asia Pacific region.

The Symposium – to be held in Sydney in the first half of next year – will explore the proposal put forward by the APEC Business Advisory Council at the APEC Finance Ministers Meeting in Moscow today, for the creation of an Asia Pacific Financial Forum to strengthen and promote regional financial architecture.

“It is important that we are prepared for the opportunities that the shift in economic weight to our region will bring,” Minister Wong, who attended the APEC meeting in Moscow, said.

“This Symposium will be an important pathway towards achieving this.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan says that while Asian economies have a high degree of integration with the global trading system, their rapid expansion into international trade has not been matched by their role in international finance.

“As economic weight shifts to the East, greater financial integration within the region will become increasingly important,” Mr Swan said.

The Symposium will build on the Government’s commitment to promote Australia as a financial centre.

Australia’s financial services industry is a significant part of our economy and currently employs more than 400,000 people across Australia.

It also follows the 2009 Australian Financial Centre Forum report, Australia as a Financial Centre: Building on Our Strengths, which focussed on opportunities of a more competitive, efficient and internationally engaged financial industry with increased cross-border activities within the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The Government has supported all 19 recommendations of the report.

In addition, the Government has provided funding for the establishment of the Centre for International Finance and Regulation, which is being hosted at the University of New South Wales. The Centre will put Australia at the forefront of designing regulatory responses to financial sector developments in the region and elsewhere.

“This Symposium is a further example of Australia’s commitment to strengthening links within our region to ensure we make the most of the opportunities presented by the Asian Century,” Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten said.

Last week, the Parliament passed laws that improve certainty for international investors considering using Australian fund managers. The Investment Manager Regime will make Australia more attractive as a destination for investment and encourage employment in the financial services sector.

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Senator the Hon Penny Wong Minister for Finance and Deregulation The Hon Bill Shorten MP Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation

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