Australia’s largest trading partners, China, Japan and South Korea, may agree next year to trial a scheme that will enable Australian funds to sell investment products to Asia.

Finance ministers from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea will meet in Vladivostok, Russia next year as part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation annual meeting.

The finance ministers will identify a common fund product and harmonize regulatory standards so a fund issued by one of the seven countries may be sold in any of the seven nations on a trial basis, says Brogden. Taiwan may be part of the agreement.

“For Australian fund managers this is a very exciting opportunity,” says John Brogden, chief executive of the Financial Services Council.

The trial will ensure an Australian consumer who buys a Korean fund product will have the same protection under Australian law as if they had purchased a local product, he says.

“Our regulatory system is one of the best in the world,” says Brogden. “Other jurisdictions may have to improve their standards.”

On the potential passage of legislation through Federal parliament to increase compulsory superannuation contributions to 12 percent from 9 percent, the FSC CEO is confident the bill will pass.

“I’m as certain as anything can be certain in a hung parliament,” says Brogden.

Australia has $1.8 trillion in funds under management, 80 percent of which are superannuation funds under management.

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