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Foreign investment policy



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TREASURER

EMBARGO

NO.

STATEMENT BY THE TREASURER, THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP

FOREIGN INVESTMENT POLICY

Sir Charles Court's criticisms of the Federal Treasury in relation * '

to foreign investment policy are unfair and incorrect. I reject them.

The Government's foreign investment policy on new resource projects is

clear and has now been in successful operation for almost five years.

The objective of the policy is at least 50 per cent Australian .

participation in equity and control of new resource projects. Where

there will be undue delay in the development of Australia's natural

resources by insistence on this equity level, and sufficient Australian

equity capital is not available on reasonable terms and conditions, then the project may be allowed to proceed, provided satisfactory

arrangements are made for the Australian equity to be lifted to at

least 50 per cent at a later stage.

There have been no changes in the administration of this policy which

is widely known and well understood. It has worked well and has

facilitated a large inflow of investment capital into resource projects

in recent years. If Sir Charles Court is aware of any specific .

examples of the Treasury having incorrectly advised companies regarding

this policy, he should bring them to my attention.

I believe Australia's foreign investment policy.has widespread support.

It has successfully balanced the need for large amounts of overseas . investment with the natural and strengthening desire of Australians

to share fully in the benefits of this country's resources. .

CANBERRA

5 February 1981