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- April 1, 2021: Vol. 13, Number 4

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Chinese investment in Australia plunges to record low

by Andrea Zander

Chinese investment in Australia fell by more than 61 percent in 2020, according to new data from the Chinese Investment in Australia Database (CHIIA) at The Australian National University.

This follows a 47 percent drop in 2019, and is the lowest number recorded over the past six years.

CHIIA recorded just over US$1 billion of investment in 2020, down from US$2.6 billion the year before and well short of the peak of US$16.5 billion recorded in 2016.

The number of Chinese investments recorded was only 20, well down from a peak of 111 investment projects in 2016. In 2020, a huge 86 percent of Chinese investment in Australia originated from Chinese companies already established within Australia, meaning purchases were made via Australian subsidiaries rather than by foreign firms directly.

Dr Shiro Armstrong, director of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research where CHIIA is based, said this is a pattern that intensified in 2019 when 91 percent of new Chin

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