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Chinese Investment in Australia

According to the Australian Government’s recently released Foreign Investment Review Board Annual Report 2013-14, China is now the largest source of new foreign investment in Australia, passing the USA. During the year ended June 30, 2014, Chinese (excluding Hong Kong) foreign investment into Australia totaled AUD$27.7 billion (CAD$27.8 billion in 2014), while the second-place United States invested AUD$17.5 billion between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

This AUD$27.7 billion is a marked increase from the total invested between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, which stood at AUD$15.8 billion (CAD$15.2 billion in 2013). Hong Kong’s total yearly investment into Australia nearly quadrupled from AUD$1.5 billion to AUD$5.5 billion; combined, this means an increase of total Chinese and Hong Kong investment from AUD$17.3 billion per year to AUD$33.1 billion per year. As a percentage, this total (i.e. including Hong Kong) investment rose from 13% to 20% of the total dollar value of all approvals.

Real estate investment flow from China and Hong Kong more than doubled, from AUD$6.6 billion invested in 2012-13 to AUD$13.7 billion invested in the 2013-14 year. American investment into Australian real estate in 2013-14 was less than half that, standing at AUD$6.1 billion. While real estate investment has gone up, other sectors have gone down: investments in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, and mineral exploration and development sectors have decreased. Further, the United States remains the larger investor in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, finance and insurance, and services sectors. Combined Chinese and Hong Kong investment into mineral exploration and development was AUD$5.8 billion in 2013-14, surpassing the AUD$1.7 billion invested by the United States during that same period.

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