Australia's New Foreign Investment Screening Threshold For Japan Is The Same As New Zealand, The US and Korea

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The screening threshold for private Japanese investors in Australia will be raised to just over $1 billion under the new trade deal announced yesterday, which would bring it in line with existing agreements with the US, New Zealand and Korea.

This increased threshold would only apply to non-sensitive sectors, once the agreement is signed. Currently Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board screens investments over $248 million.

Sensitive areas include media, telecommunications, transport (including airports, port facilities and rail infrastructure), Australian Defence Force contracts, military type goods and services, security and communications systems, and the nuclear sector.

Australia has also reserved the right to review agricultural land and agribusiness investments at lower levels, even if the threshold is raised.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said raising the threshold at which private Japanese investment in non-sensitive sectors are considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board “will promote further growth and diversification in the flow of Japanese investment into Australia”.

“Japan will receive a higher screening threshold for private investors under JAEPA [$1,078 million up from $248 million], consistent with thresholds provided to the US and New Zealand and the threshold recently agreed with Korea under KAFTA,” the spokesperson said.

“Australia has retained the ability to screen investments in sensitive sectors at lower levels. It has also reserved policy space to screen proposals for foreign investment in agricultural land and in agribusinesses at lower levels.”

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