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Ian Campbell

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

27 November 2001 - 6 October 2003

Media Release of 19/12/2001

NO.001

FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD REPORT: 2000-2001

The Foreign Investment Review Board's (FIRB) Report for 2000-01 was released today.

The Report outlines the activities of the Board, provides a summary of the year's foreign investment proposals, comments on the more significant cases and reviews trends in foreign investment in Australia and Australian investment abroad. The Report also has a number of Appendices that provide supporting material on foreign investment policy and include the text of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The main points in the FIRB's 2000-01 report are as follows:

  • Of the 3,347 proposals decided:
    • 3,301 were approved (2,298 with conditions, mainly in the real estate sector) and 46 were rejected. There were 3,907 approvals (2,737 with conditions) and 96 rejections in 1999-2000.
  • Approvals involved proposed investment (either alone or in partnership with Australians) of around $106.3 billion. This represented a 36 per cent increase on the previous year's approvals of $78 billion.
    • The value of approvals increased in the services sector (excluding tourism) from $25 billion in 1999-2000 to $31.1 billion in 2000-01. Approvals for minerals exploration and development increased from $10.1 billion to $23.7 billion and real estate increased from $9.5 billion to $12.7 billion. Resource processing had a sharp decline from $5.5 billion in 1999-2000 to $0.9 billion in 2000-01.
  • The 137 largest proposals (each with proposed investment of more than $100 million) accounted for about $90 billion or about 85 per cent of total proposed investment.
  • The United States remained the largest source of proposed foreign investment in Australia during 2000-01 accounting for around 45 per cent of the total. The other major source was the United Kingdom, its proposed investment in Australia increased to $22.7 billion in 2000-01 or 21 per cent of the total. This represents a 97 per cent increase from $11.5 billion in 1999-2000. The next largest contributors of proposed foreign investment were Germany, Canada and Hong Kong with proposed investments valued at $4.7 billion, $3.6 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively.

The FIRB statistics relate to the administration of foreign investment policy. Major qualifications apply to these statistics, particularly the estimates of proposed investments associated with approvals. For example, the proposals approved may or may not be implemented. If implemented, it could be over a period of years. The Board's statistics are substantively different from the Australian Bureau of Statistics data on foreign investment in Australia.

The FIRB report for 2000-01 will be formally tabled when Parliament resumes in February 2002.

Copies of the Foreign Investment Review Board Report 2000-01 can be purchased at Australian Government Info Shops and accessed at http://www.firb.gov.au on the internet.

The website also provides, access to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) and Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulations 1989 as well as current guidance notes helping people to understand their responsibilities under the Act and how to complete a foreign investment application.

Canberra
19 December 2001

Contact: Dr Jim Hagan - Executive Member - FIRB/Treasury - (02) 6263 3763