The Federal Government has announced an agreement with China that will enable direct trading between the Australian Dollar (AUD) and the Chinese Renminbi (CNY).

Direct trading between the two currencies commenced on the Chinese Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) and the Australian foreign exchange market earlier this week.

“This is an important step forward in advancing the burgeoning economic relationship between our two countries,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement.

“As China continues to move its economy towards greater financial openness, Australia stands ready as a key trading partner to work with China and to bring our financial markets closer together.”

Commenting on the agreement ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said: “Direct trading between the Australian Dollar and the Renminbi is a significant development in relations between our two countries and is an important boost for exporters and importers in both Australia and New Zealand.

“Given China is Australia’s largest trading partner, our largest export market, our largest source of fee-paying students and tourists this agreement is timely and with our new licence we look forward to offering direct settlement to our customers in both markets.