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[ Other / Australia ] One-on-one with Chris Raciti

As CEO of ANZ Korea and the Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Chris Raciti offers valuable insight into the promising partnership between Korea and Australia.

Chris Raciti grew up in Australia, and always had a strong interest in working in the Asian region. During high school, he studied abroad in Japan, and in university, he decided to start learning the Korean language and about Korean society. Subsequently, he continued his studies at Korea University, which cemented a passion for building strong links between Australia and Korea. Professionally, he has worked in institutional banking for the last 16 years, initially in Australia, and then spent the past 12 years in Asia, working in Seoul, Singapore, Hong Kong. Now, he is back in Seoul as CEO of ANZ Korea and the Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce. Taking on both roles, he is in the ideal position to tell us about the growing partnership between Korea and Australia.

Can you tell us about ANZ Korea and the services it offers to customers?

Established in 1978, ANZ Korea has a 40 year history in Korea, primarily providing services to large local corporates, multinationals and financial institutions. Our strategy revolves around facilitating capital and trade flows between Korea and the Asia Pacific region, including our home markets of Australia and New Zealand. Since our inception in 1978, our mission has been to be the best bank for those customers engaged in trade and capital flows between Korea and the Asia Pacific. ANZ Korea provides comprehensive banking products and services including markets, project and structured finance, corporate finance, and trade and supply chain finance, by understanding the global needs of Korean companies and combining cross-border capability and connectivity with industry insight to offer solutions for clients.

Why did ANZ establish a branch in Korea?

ANZ has a long history of facilitating international finance, primarily in the Asia pacific region and Korea is a significant regional and global player in this respect. Korea plays an important part in our broader network proposition. Korean corporates play a leading role in a number of industries including technology, engineering and construction, shipbuilding, and increasingly finance and funds management.

How is the Korean market different from other parts of the world and what strategies are unique to Korea?

Korean corporates are extremely integrated with the regional and global economy and our strategy revolves around supporting and facilitating this connectivity by providing financial services and products that are supportive and relevant to this connectivity.

How can Korea become a more ideal business environment for foreign companies like ANZ?

Continued efforts by the Korean government and regulators to harmonize Korean regulations with regional and global established norms would be welcome.

What is AusCham and how does it spur economic cooperation between Australia and Korea?

AusCham in Korea is an institution dedicated to making it easier for Australians and Koreans to do business together. We are passionate about facilitating this corridor and working with other institutions including government and other chambers and business councils to achieve this. Our activities range from networking events, educational forums focused on making it easier to do business in Korea and also contributing to the development of government policies.

Although trade volume between the two countries is high, Australian investment to Korea seems relatively lower. Why do you think that is?

Historically, two way trade between Australia and Korea has been dominated by the export-import of raw commodities on one side and completed manufactured goods on the other. With the finalization of the FTA between Australia and Korea we are seeing an increase in service sector opportunities and I believe that this will result in an increase in two way investment in this area as well.

What would you like to accomplish during your time as Director at AusCham and what are your hopes for the overall relations between Korea and Australia?

I would like to contribute to the continuation of the proud history that AusCham already has in Korea. Although Korea is already Australia’s fourth largest trading partner, this relationship is overshadowed by other trading relationships, and does not receive the recognition that I think it deserves. Clearly, I would like to see this relationship grow and diversify, however I would also like to see this relationship receive greater recognition in both countries. I would also like to see more Australians learning about Korea, its history and its language as a result of this.

By Grace Park (gracepark@kotra.or.kr)
English Editor/Invest Korea

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