Chinese investment – good for Australia?
Yes. Australia suffers from a lack of money at the moment. Consumer spending is down and people generally aren’t confident. Businesses think that banks are holding on tight to their cash. Without investment and confidence we cannot expand, grow, develop and make progress.
Without foreign investment, we become reliant on other nations, and can’t put our footprint in other regions. We become insular.
Put a little sugar in my bowl
While there seems to be concern about Chinese investment crossing our boarders, not all investment is bad. The sugar milling industry in Australia has recently received extensive foreign investment. Steve Greenwood, chief executive of Canegrowers, explained in an interview with the ABC that farmers’ need for capital eventually overcame the reluctance they had to welcome foreign ownership, and they do not believe much has changed given the recent change in foreign ownership.
ANZ chief executive Mike Smith believes the Australian public is over-reacting in its response to Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) investment. He believes that so long as it is within the national interest, Chinese SOE investment could boost Australia’s economy and better foster the relationship between the two nations. He has a point – threatening a relationship which our economy is dependent on could have negative ramifications. And it could also have a trickle-down effect, minimising Chinese private investment.
While it is a sensitive in the minds of many Australians, the reality is that Australian business people need a banker. If Australian bankers can’t come to the party, then we may need to look elsewhere. And it is hard to look away when there is money on the table, right here, right now.