The body with the power to veto foreign acquisitions in Australia waived through more than 25,000 takeovers by Chinese companies in just one year.
Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved 25,431 Chinese investment proposals in the country in 2014-15.
That means two-thirds of the total 37,953 deals allowed by FIRB went to Chinese firms and state-owned companies, who poured in $46.5 billion in one year alone.
The second largest investor in Australia was the United States, with just 412 acquisitions worth $25billion.
Chinese state-owned companies have in recent years been purchasing Australian national assets.
Newcastle Port is currently being targeted by Yancoal, a Chinese state-owned company, which is attempting to increase its stake in the coal port’s terminals.
Previously Chinese companies have sought to purchase Australian assets like the Port of Darwin, a strategic defence port.
According to FIRB’s latest annual report, more than 99 per cent of approvals were decided within just 30 days.
In 2014-15, the level of foreign investment went up dramatically in industries including agriculture, forestry, fishing, finance and insurance, manufacturing and mineral exploration and development.
The FIRB annual report states: “China remains the largest source of proposed foreign investment in Australia.”
It adds that in the space of a single year “the value of approvals for China has increased by around 68 per cent” and points out that China alone accounts for around “33 per cent of the total value of approvals by foreign country in 2014-15.”
China is responsible for two-thirds of all the foreign purchases in Australia and now it is attempting to increase its stake in Newcastle Port, one of the country’s most important assets.
It’s time to block this deal.
Source: https://cdn.tspace.gov.au/uploads/sites/79/2016/03/FIRB-AR-2014-15.pdf (Table 2.12)
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