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20% of Aust companies using renminbi: poll

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016

Australian companies' usage of the renminbi to do business in China is surging, according to the poll.

The HSBC-commissioned poll, released on Tuesday, shows 18 per cent of Australian businesses are using the Chinese currency, a huge leap from 13 per cent a year ago.

HSBC Australia head of commercial banking Steve Hughes says respondents indicated the surge in local usage was set to continue.

"More than 40 per cent of Australian companies believe the renminbi will be an international trading currency in the next five years, versus 29 per cent in 2015," he said in a statement.

However, Mr Hughes said few Australian companies had plans to capitalise on China's global Belt and Road strategy, a series of policies and infrastructure projects designed to spur $US2.5 trillion ($A3.3 trillion) of trade.

Chinese companies already invested $US14.8 billion ($19.6 billion) in 49 countries last year.

"Only a handful are aware of the business opportunities that Belt and Road will deliver. By boosting connectivity, it will catalyse trade between more than 60 countries that are home to two thirds of the world's population," Mr Hughes said.

"For any company seeking growth and new customers, that's an exciting proposition to explore."

Nielsen surveyed 1,600 "decision-maker" respondents in 14 countries.

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