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WA in a plum spot for banking

WA HAS a good chance of becoming the finance and information technology centre of Asia, says Finance and Regulation Minister Joe Hockey.

Speaking at a reception held by Federal Member for Curtin Julie Bishop, he said Australians had the chance to compete on an equal basis with people in New York, London and Singapore.

Mr Hockey is pushing to make Australia a global finance centre.

He has published information on this global finance centre push on his website at joehockey.com

Mr Hockey believes Australia can be the next Hong Kong, which has acted as Asia’s financial centre for the past 100 years.

Premier Richard Court believes there is a chance for WA to ride on the coattails of the eastern States in the push to become a global finance and IT centre.

He said it was likely financial institutions setting up in Australia would choose Sydney for their head offices.

“Still, if we play it right, there is no reason why Sydney can’t be the major shop front and WA be the back office,” Mr Court said.

“We’re on the same timezone as most of Asia. There is no better place to run an Asia-related business than WA.

“We’ve seen a lot of companies in the resources sector shift their head offices to Perth and now a lot of financial institutions have gone to Sydney.”

One of the most recent was the Royal Bank of Canada which announced on 21 January that it would move its foreign exchange headquarters to Sydney from Singapore.

However, Singapore is also pushing itself as the financial and IT centre of Asia.

To this end the Singaporean Government has embarked on a program to ensure every household has access to the Internet.

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