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China overtakes US to become Australia's top foreign investor

Staff writer |
China for the first time has become the largest source of foreign investment in Australia with A$27.7 billion ($22.16 billion) of investment.

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Those were investments approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in the 2013-2014 financial year, according to FIRB's annual report.

Thanks to a A$12.4 billion ($9.92 billion) surge in real estate investment, China has overtaken the United States to become the top foreign investor, accounting for 16.5 percent of total foreign investment approved in that year.

The FIRB report says that in 2013-14, approvals were given for A$167.4 billion ($133.9 billion) of proposed investment, representing a 23.4 percent increase on the those approved in the previous year.

The real estate sector witnessed a significant increase in investment, with A$74.6 billion ($59.6 billion) approved in 2013-14. Proposed investment in commercial real estate increased, from A$34.8 billion ($27.8 billion) in 2012-13 to A$39.9 billion ($31.9 billion) in 2013-14.

Meanwhile, proposed investment in residential real estate recorded a sharper increase, up from A$17.2 billion ($13.7 billion) in 2012-13 to A$34.7 billion ($27.7 billion) in 2013-14.

Foreign investment in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector increased from A$2.9 billion to A$3.4 billion ($2.3 billion to $2.7 billion), representing around 2 percent of the approved investment in 2013-14.

Investment in the mining sector decreased to A$22 billion ($17.6 billion) from A$45.1 billion ($36 billion), consistent with the transition of the mining construction boom into the production phase.

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