CBA, Austrade ink innovation agreement with HK & China


The Commonwealth Bank, alongside the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), has signed a collaboration agreement to support innovation between Australia, Hong Kong and Greater China.

The agreement will provide support to Australian businesses, including fintechs, to access Hong Kong’s and Greater China’s markets, as well as reciprocal support to Chinese businesses seeking to establish themselves in Australia.

The agreement was signed at CBA’s inaugural ‘Aussie tech meet up’ event, hosted at the bank’s Hong Kong Innovation Lab.

The Hong Kong Innovation Lab will provide local businesses direct access to the technology hub’s resources to support their entry into the Australian market, said Consul-General Michaela Browning.

The Innovation Lab is CBA’s dedicated ‘ideas incubator’, providing a collaborative space for customers, start-ups, partners, and industry heads to develop product and service innovations.

Australian companies will also be able to “tap into Hong Kong’s fast-growing start-up ecosystem and access international funding and partnerships,” Browning said.

CBA Managing Director Hong Kong, Maaike Steinebach, said the agreement would provide opportunities for Australian innovators to expand their service offerings across the booming Hong Kong and Greater China markets.

“The new partnership supports Australian fintech and non-fintech companies, as well as the Australian innovation ecosystem, and provides great access to opportunities both here and in Australia,” Steinebach said.

“With China having one of the highest fintech adoption rates in the world and Hong Kong a long tradition of entrepreneurship, it provides a good opportunity for Australian businesses looking at entering the Asian region,” said Steinebach.

The new agreement complements the recent launch of The FinTech Association of Hong Kong, but will also seek to support organisations beyond the scope of fintech, including edtech, health and wellbeing, Steinebach said.

Australian and China-based businesses will have access to a range of support options through the agreement, including company-to-company introductions, inclusion in trade missions, privileged access to technology talent pools, mentoring and coaching opportunities, and provision of a temporary space within CBA’s Hong Kong Innovation Lab.