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Transcript of doorstop: 4 July 2008: Melbourne: foreign investment.



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TRANSCRIPT

of

THE HON WAYNE SWAN MP

Treasurer

DOORSTOP Melbourne

4 July 2008

E&OE

SUBJECTS: Foreign Investment

JOURNALIST: Can I ask about (inaudible)?

TREASURER: (inaudible) There's nothing exceptional about the principles I've outlined today. I've made it very clear that we will look very closely at those situations where the buyers of our resources seek to control the resources companies. That's somethin g , that has always occurred in this count ry. It is nothing exceptional. nothing particularly new about any of that at all.

JOURNALIST: Treasurer, why aren't transfer pricing rules enough to protect Australia's interest?

TREASURER: Because they're not enough and that's why you have the guidelines that I

published in [February]. They are principles that we apply to proposals from foreign g oveinments or their entities. They are broad ranking. But basically they go to this very core fist: Is the proposal market based and is it in our nation^iI interest? So. the question here is. is it in our national interest for a bu y er of our resources to control our resource-produc1n^t companies? That's the decision that I have to make. It's a decision that previous governments have made and there's nothing exceptional about that at all. We will apply ow national interest rules as it's always been applied in the national

interest.

JOURNALIST: Do you expect it to damage relationships with potential Chinese investors?

TREASURER: No. i don't because we welcome Chinese investment in this countr y . It's occurring all of the time. It's happening as we speak. And this applies irrespective of the source of investment. We've made that very clear as •ell.

JOURNALIST: Did you make some nuance to the Chinese when you were over there three weeks ago. and what w as their response?

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TREASURER: Well. there's nothin g , nuanced as you put it. These are our guidelines. they •ere published in February. They are applied in the national interest. Chinese investment in this country is very welcome. We are a country that has alwa y

s•%%eleomed foreign investment. We have

a very open and liberal regime. but we will certainly be examining very carefully any proposal from any source anywhere in the world where a buyer will seek to buy a producer. There's nothing exceptional about that at all.

JOURNALIST: Why did you feel the need to spell that out today? You haven't done that in the past.

TREASURER: Well. I made a major speech on foreign investment today. As Treasurer of this Commonwealth I have many responsibilities. We are deeply involved in the reform of Federal/State relations, I w as at CRAG yesterday. We're engaged in fundamental tax reform. and Ne been spending a lot of time on that. We've brought do n a Budget. I spent a lot of time on that. And I've

spent a lot of time on studyin g , and looking very closely at the approach that we take to foreign investment — I take that very seriously. Today was a verygood opportunity to talk about the Government's approach in general. I •elcome the opportunity to do it. I enjoyed being here with all of those people in the room. making these points, because one thing about being Treasurer of Australia that I think about all the time is %ghat do I do to enhance our national interests and what do I do to make oui' economy more prosperous in the long term so we can leave something better fbi our children and our t.ttandchildren. Thanks.

ends

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