Beijing is set to accelerate plans to boost the international use of yuan by concluding pacts with key regional trading partners Australia and Singapore. Sydney was on track to become the next offshore city to obtain a yuan clearing bank - as early as December - Elmer Funke Kupper, the chief executive of Australian's securities exchange, told the South China Morning Post . The central banks of the two countries were engaged in talks on ways to boost yuan liquidity in Australia, Funke Kupper said, adding that it would be a "crime" to miss out on the opportunity to grow yuan business in Sydney given that China was Australia's largest trading partner. "The [yuan] in Australia is small because the companies are not well connected, and we are fixing that now," he said. "It is also because there is no [yuan] liquidity as there is no clearing bank. "We are very hopeful that they will do that very soon, in the next few months." Funke Kupper was speaking on the sidelines of an ASX investment conference in Hong Kong. The clearing bank deal could be signed when President Xi Jinping visits Australia for the Group of 20 meeting next month. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott could sign off on an Australia-China free-trade agreement as well as the yuan deal. Part of the clearing infrastructure in Sydney was ready, Funke Kupper said. The Australian stock exchange teamed up with the Bank of China in July to launch yuan settlement services that allowed Australian companies to clear yuan in trades, but the volume had been quite small because of the limited liquidity. Only 1 per cent of trades between China and Australia are settled in yuan. Sydney is looking to join Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Taipei and Seoul as offshore centres that have obtained yuan clearing bank status. Singapore is set to start onshore Singapore dollar-yuan trading next week - a milestone move the authorities have been preparing for a year. The city state has been leading other offshore cities in yuan initiatives after the appointment of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as its yuan clearing bank in February last year. "Obviously China wants to speed up the globalisation process and I won't be surprised to see Korean won-yuan trading also start sometime this year," a source on the foreign exchange trading desk at a major bank in Singapore said. Direct trading with onshore counterparties would help companies reduce their exchange costs and further boost deposit growth in the region, although market players are expecting to see a relatively slow start as many companies would prefer to do the exchange in the offshore market where costs are lower. On Monday, Singapore Exchange launched currency futures contracts for China's onshore and offshore yuan, a move designed to involve more companies in hedging and encourage corporate treasurers in Southeast Asia to use yuan as an investment and trade currency.