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Thursday, 25 May 1989
Page: 2696

Senator LEWIS —My question is directed to the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce. I refer him to the possible investment of about $4 billion by China Steel Corporation in a steel mill in Australia. Is the Government prepared to acknowledge that investment from Taiwan is welcome in Australia? Is the Government prepared to protect, from the People's Republic of China (PRC), assets owned by the Taiwanese Government in Australia?

Senator BUTTON —Of course the Government welcomes foreign investment. Foreign investment proposals, wherever they come from, are subject to the same scrutiny. Proposals such as that mooted by China Steel Corporation, of which I have some knowledge, would normally be approved. There is no basis for the suggestion that such an investment would be at risk through claims by third parties. Investment of this kind from Taiwan is welcome and is in accordance with our constructive relationship with the PRC. In so far as investment protection is concerned, I am advised that an investor from Taiwan is accorded exactly the same protection under Australian law as any other corporation or investor.