Weir will first approach the Singaporean, Hong Kong and Taiwanese authorities about the passport because they oversee globalised funds management sectors, run regulatory structures reasonably similar to Australia’s and have floating-rate currencies and the rule of law. “It’s a very long-term project,” he says. “We’re hoping this would start a very small group of likeminded countries, so that once it’s up and running other countries can see the benefit of it.” He urges the funds management industry to support efforts to put the proposal on the regional agenda. The sector’s peak body, the FSC, is preparing a research paper in support of the project, but the government needs to know directly from managers that if the passport is negotiated against the odds, it will not have been for nothing. “The way the government looks at it is this: If we deal with all of these policy-related conditions, will the industry really pick up the ball and run?”

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