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Chinese investment plunges to $1b in 2020

Andrew TillettPolitical correspondent

Chinese investment in Australia plummeted to a record low of $1 billion in 2020 according to one estimate, reflecting heightened tensions between Canberra and Beijing as well as the economic shockwave from the coronavirus.

In a sign that Australia is losing an important source of funding, Australian National University’s Chinese Investment in Australia database shows that total investment fell by 61 per cent last year, down from $2.6 billion, compounding a 47 per cent drop in 2019.

A Chinese bid to buy Lion Dairy collapsed after Josh Frydenberg signalled he would reject the deal because it was contrary to the national interest. Fairfax Media

“Without an active source of capital from China, we’re losing a big source of capital and it will devalue assets because we are losing a significant bidder,” ANU’s East Asian Bureau of Economic Research director, Shiro Armstrong, said.

Just 20 Chinese investments were recorded in 2020, down from 111 when the flow of capital peaked at $16 billion in 2016.

“$1 billion for Chinese investment in Australia is significantly low,” Dr Armstrong said.

Summary | 6 Annotations
$1 billion
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fell by 61 per cent last year
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devalue assets
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peaked at $16 billion in 2016.
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hile the national security test has caus
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Treasurer able to go back and reject proposals that have already been approved
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