For the first time, China has become the main source of foreign investment in Australia, moving the United States in second place. Last year, wealthy Chinese investors poured $ 21.8 billion in Australia, while investment worth US $ 13,800,000,000. The figures are contained in an annual report published by the Review Board of Australia Foreign Investment, which was created to regulate foreign investment.
Much of the interest in China has focused on real estate, where $ 9.5 billion was spent in 2014. That is more than double the number of US investors in Australian property.
The flow of money into Chinese real estate Australia has raised political sensitivities, especially in Sydney, where prices rose 14 percent last year and 60 percent since 2009. These sharp increases are not simply the result of foreign investment, but also because of the historically low interest rates in Australia and a shortage of supply.
However, the government has suggested strict new rules on foreign investment in residential property.
Tim Harcourt, chief economist at the University of New South Wales Business School, says that the influx of investment from China was unexpected.
"It's a good new phenomena, because traditionally the largest foreign investors in Australia Australians were typically European, US and Japan in recent years, so that China and India were the new players more," he said.
"So the fact that they have risen to the ranks very quickly is probably a bit unexpected. Much of this has to do with education and wanting permanent residence".
Last year, a parliamentary committee in Canberra found that instead of distorting the housing market in Australia, foreign investment was, in fact, helping to subdue prices by increasing the supply of new housing. Authorities said the benefits are also extended to the creation of jobs in construction and tax revenues.
To take advantage of growing demand in China, some Australian goods companies larger roots have opened offices in Beijing and Hong Kong to provide a service tailored to local investors. While selling real estate for Chinese continues, the sale of wind farms in Australia to foreigners has become increasingly controversial. Critics argue that puts food security at risk Australia, while the authors insist that helps the financial viability of a key export industry.
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