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Australia Remains New Zealand's Main FDI Partner

Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Year ended March 2001

At 31 March 2001, Australian enterprises had $17.2 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in New Zealand enterprises, according to latest figures from Statistics New Zealand. This is almost 35 per cent of the $49.3 billion total foreign direct investment in New Zealand. Australia is also the largest destination of New Zealand foreign direct investment abroad. New Zealand enterprises had $9.3 billion invested in Australia, representing 63 per cent of total foreign direct investment overseas by New Zealand enterprises.

For the first time International Investment Position statistics broken down by industry have been published. These new industry statistics relate to the years ended March 1999, 2000 and 2001, and show on both the asset and liability sides that a few key industries dominate: finance and insurance, and manufacturing.

The government administration and defence industry is also a major contributor. This reflects Treasury's holdings of overseas reserves and borrowing in the form of non-residents purchases of domestically issued government securities. The importance of the finance and insurance industry reflects the level of foreign ownership of major enterprises engaged in banking and insurance.

Statistics New Zealand's new international Balance of Payments methodology and new ways of collecting these statistics mean the March 2001 year statistics cannot be directly compared with previous March year statistics. The main difference is the new threshold for recognising FDI in an enterprise. However, under both the new and old methodologies, OECD countries account for most of our inward and outward foreign direct investment flows and stocks. Also the finance and insurance industry dominates our total international assets and liabilities stocks.

OECD countries account for 95 per cent of the total foreign direct investment stock in New Zealand, and the finance and insurance industry accounts for 58 per cent of New Zealand's total international liabilities.

The statistics also record growth in the levels of both foreign investment into New Zealand (up by 72 percent between March 2000 and 2001) and growth in excess of 100 per cent in New Zealand investment overseas over the same period.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

END


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