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Foreign Investment Report Points To Win-Win

MEDIA RELEASE
ACTING PRIME MINISTER ANDMINISTER FOR TRADE
TIM FISCHER

Foreign Investment Report Points To Win-Win For Australia

Rounding out his commitment to explaining the benefits of open markets to the Australian community, Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Tim Fischer today released a report detailing the benefits of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Mr Fischer launched the report at the APEC Business Forum in Sydney."Foreign direct investment helps develop our industries and infrastructure, makes businesses more competitive, boosts jobs and exports, and increases access to the latest technologies", Mr Fischer said.

Foreign Direct Investment: the Benefits for Australia, a report prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, sets out in a non-technical way the contribution that FDI makes to Australian economic prosperity.

Mr Fischer said some of the key findings of the report include:over 500,000 people throughout metropolitan and regional Australia work in firms with majority foreign ownership, including one in five jobs in manufacturing.around one quarter of Australia's exports are from firms with substantial foreign ownership.

He said the report uses case studies to highlight the benefits of FDI to Australian communities big and small. For example, the Korea Zinc Refinery project near Townsville and the Dominance Industries MDF Mill in Wangaratta recently boosted employment in regional Australia by around 350 and 100 workers respectively.

I acknowledge that some Australians are concerned about foreign ownership of Australian assets. The Coalition Government is about balancing these concerns against the strong economic benefits FDI offers Australia," Mr Fischer said.

"Under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975, the Goverment scrutinises many proposed foreign purchases of Australian businesses and property and it has the power to block proposals that it decides are not in the national interest.

"He added that because of Australia's acceptance of FDI, another spin-off was greater opportunity and viability for Australian companies to invest overseas, such as by ANZ, Clough Engineering Limited, North Limited and Village Roadshow.

Mr Fischer said a balanced approach to FDI means a win-win situation for all Australians, whether they live in the city or the bush.

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