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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Australia | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

Australia is one of the OECD countries most open to foreign direct investment (FDI), the latter representing over one-third of the country's GDP. According to the World Investment Report 2013, published by the UNCTAD, Australia ranks in 7th place among the world's largest FDI recipients. Its economic liberalism, stability and the transparency of its legal system, in addition to its strong economic growth over the last 15 years, compensate for the narrowness of its market and its geographic isolation, making it a desirable investment destination. After having slowed down in 2009 due to the international financial crisis, FDI flows were very strong in 2011 especially in the energy sector. In 2012, FDI had doubled in relation to 2007. Australia ranks 10th in the classification Doing Business issued by the World Bank in relation to its business climate. In 2014, the government has suggested that the priority sectors for FDI influx should be: food-processing, energy, large infrastructures, tourism infrastructures and high-value added services.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Australia OECD United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 8.0 6.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 2.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 5.7 6.1 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 65,20955,51849,826
FDI Stock (million USD) 596,524652,796591,568
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 24--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 5--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 325341324
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 15.412.611.8
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 39.241.739.3

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Australia

Strong Points
The customary Australian dynamism, its economic robustness, its strong growth, stable and juridically reassuring business environment and position as a practical access platform for certain markets, like New Zealand and the Pacific islands, make this country a choice target for establishment.
Weak Points
Reduced competition in some sectors can limit returns on scale. Lack of investment in transport and telecommunication infrastructures sometimes slows down growth in some sectors.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Foreign companies get assistance, especially for productive investment, R&D, professional training and job creation. For many years, the amount of administrative formalities for setting up foreign companies has been reduced.
Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Australia

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Acquisition of Holdings
There is a mixed regime which has been made more flexible since it was set up in 1975. However, the purchase of a local firm by a foreign company can always be refused by the controlling authority, on the grounds that it would be contrary to national interests.
Consult the FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) website.
Obligation to Declare
The agency for the promotion of foreign investment in the country gives information about the authorizations necessary for setting up. Some investments must be declared to the FIRB.
Acquisitions, substantiel acquisitions of holdings, and taking control of Australian companies whose assets are valued at more than 50 million AUD; the creation or setting up of a new business when it goes over 10 million AUD (over 100 million AUD of investment the FIRB will make a detailed study); direct investments carried out by foreign governments must be declared.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Requests For Specific Authorizations
The media, the banking sector, air transport and mining concessions are subject to restrictions; the FIRB can provide details.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Australia on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Invest Australia
Invest Victoria
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
AusTender, Annual Procurement Plan List
SA Tenders and Contracts, Public Procurement opportunities within Australia
Tenders Info, Tenders in Australia
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
International Tax and Business Guide

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Learn more about Investing in Australia on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014