Chinese perspectives on investing in Australia
John Larum recently published a report on Chinese Perspectives on Investing in Australia. for the Lowy Institute for International Policy. What does it mean and how should we respond to it?
The report details that while China is Australia’s largest trading partner, we still suffer from perception differences that could potentially impact investment opportunities.
In 1999, the Chinese government launched its “go-global” strategy, prompting local companies to invest overseas. This strategy has been in place for more than 10 years now and Australia has happily benefitted from it, with China accounting for 4.4% of total foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2009. Even though statistics from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) rate Australia as a safe and low-risk country to invest in, they also point out there are a number of challenges in investing here.
Based on Larum’s research, despite Chinese companies generally finding Australia an attractive place to invest, they felt they were specifically discriminated against because of their nationality. These perceptions largely flow from Australia’s FDI regime and complicated bureaucratic processes. They also related to a spate of failed investment attempts and mixed messages that were seen to stem from Canberra.
Larum’s analysis further discusses the importance of the China-Australia trade relationship and suggests that it’s important that we alleviate these negative perceptions before the Chinese lose interest in investing here. If you want to find out how you can alter these perceptions, read the report.