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Statement by the Prime Minister on foreign investment in Australia, at the Brook Club, New York



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STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN AUSTRALIA, AT THE BROOK CLUB, NEW YORK - 29 JULY 1976

The Prime Minister said tonight in New York that his discussions here had indicated a strong endorsement by­ leading American financiers and businessmen of Australia’s policy of seeking local equity participation in foreign

investment where possible. He said that there had been no questioning of the Government's approach in this area.

The Prime Minister was speaking after a dinner at the Brook Club in New York attended by top U.S. business leaders. A list of those attending the dinner follows:

GUESTS .

Mr C.F. Barber Mr Henry Ford II Mr C.C. Garvin Mr John D . Harper Mr Alfred Hayes

Sir Randal Heymanson,

Mr R. Jones

Mr Frank Milliken

Mr Sydney Morrell Mr Rupert Murdoch Mr Robert Norris

Mr Ellmore Patterson

Mr David P. Reynolds Mr Benno Schmidt Mr Thomas J. Smith Hon. Phillips Talbot Mr Paul A. Volcker Mr Rawleigh Warner Mr Walter Yriston

Chairman, Asarco Inc. ' Chairman, Ford Motor Co.

Chairman, Exxon Corporation Chairman, Alcoa Chairman, Morgan Stanley International C.B.E. Chairman, American Australian

Association Chairman, General Electric Co. President, Kennecott Copper Corporation

Chairman, Sydney Morrell and Co. Inc. Chairman, News America Inc. President, National Foreign Trade Council Chairman, Morgan Guaranty Trust ^ Company

Chairman, Reynolds Metals Company Managing Partner, J.H. Whitney and Co. President, Farrell Lines Inc. President, The Asia Society

President, Federal Reserve Bank Chairman, Mobil Oil Corporation Chairman, City Bank

and Senior Australian Government Officials.

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Mr Fraser said that he had explained that the Australian Government welcomed overseas investment. The Government saw an important and increased* role for foreign capital in the development of Australia's resources. Its

attitude was significantly different, in this respect, to that of the preceding Government. , ■ ■

The Prime Minister said that he had confirmed that major development projects would not be held up solely on the ground that Australian equity was unavailable to meet a particular proportion of total capital. The foreign

investment guidelines providing for Australian equity participation were being administered flexibly.

These guidelines were being applied in the interests of the overall development of the Australian economy. It was unrealistic to suppose that development of major resource projects could proceed without the injection of significant

foreign capital. .

The Prime Minister said that he had outlined recent measures taken by the Government to restore balance in the Australian economy and, most importantly, to reduce inflation. There was still a good way to go: but the Government was determined to bring inflation under control and to restore business confidence. The Prime Minister said that he had '

indicated his firm conviction that the forthcoming budget would play an important role here.

The Prime Minister said that his discussions in the United States suggested an increased flow of American capital to Australia. Investors were realising the need for early decisions to be taken to meet looming supply problems. The

strengthening world economic recovery suggested the possibility of early constraints on capacity to meet resource needs.

As a resource rich country, Australia, the Prime Minister said,was in a position to take advantage of the potential increase in investment needs. The Government's policy was clear. It was now up to foreign investors to take

advantage of the opportunities that offered.

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