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Invest Australia: new role, new CEO, new challenges: Federal Budget 2002.\n

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Media Release The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

  14 May 2002 02/078



To ensure a strong, national effort at investment promotion and attraction, the Government will provide $44 million for a revamped Invest Australia.

The Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane, tonight announced the funding as part of the 2002-03 Budget.

"Australia�s ability to lure overseas investment is critical to our future prosperity. Foreign investment is needed to help finance our capital needs, leading to faster economic growth and higher living standards," said Mr Macfarlane.

"The investment of foreign funds plays a critical role in job creation, export stimulation and access to an improved technological and knowledge base."

In response to the Blackburne review of investment promotion efforts and, as announced during the election campaign, the Government will establish a revamped Invest Australia. From July 1st it will operate as an autonomous agency, taking on the investment promotion and attraction activities of other Commonwealth agencies.

Invest Australia will also promote new venture capital arrangements, implement a coordinated Information and Communications Technology Investment Attraction Strategy and activate the recommendations of the Light Metals Action Agenda.

"These functions will allow Invest Australia to develop an appropriate whole-of-nation strategy for promoting and attracting overseas direct investment into Australia. It will be charged with ensuring this strategy is implemented effectively and efficiently," said Mr Macfarlane.

In 2000-01 Invest Australia helped to attract 70 new investments, leading to a total planned investment expenditure of $1.57 billion with the potential to create 4800 new jobs and some $684 million in exports.

Since 1996, annual direct foreign investment in Australia has more than doubled.

A chief executive officer, attuned to the needs of investors, will be appointed to heighten the agency�s marketing focus and strengthen strategic vision and leadership.

"The current global investment climate is a very challenging and competitive environment. It is necessary for Invest Australia to have not just an understanding of what companies are looking for now but to be equipped for delivery of future solutions and services," he said. (1 of 2) [15/05/2002 2:21:19]

Contact: Kirsty Boazman (Minister Macfarlane�s office 02 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444 Barry Jones (Invest Australia) 02 6213 6700   CMR02-095  

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